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1  31957 



Bishop  Administrator  of  Chicago. 

Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress  in  the  year  1877,  by 

In  the  Office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress,  at  Washington. 




WHO  defined  the  dogma  of  the  Immaculate 
Conception  of  the  Virgin  Mother. 

Who  convened  the  CEcumenical  Council  of 
the  Vatican,  and  defined  the  dogma  of  Papal 

Who  is  the  Successor  of  St.  Peter,  the  Supreme 
Head  of  the  immortal  Church  of  Christ,  the  Infal 
lible  Teacher  and  Guardian  of  the  Faith,  the 
Sovereign  Judge  of  Councils,  enjoying  the  Primacy 
both  of  honor  and  of  jurisdiction,  the  Centre  of 
Christian  faith  and  unity ;  the  Corner-stone  upon 
which  the  City  of  God  on  earth  reposes,  the  Prince 
of  priests,  the  Pastor  of  pastors,  the  Guide  of 
guides,  the  cardinal  Joint  of  all  Churches,  the 
Keystone  of  the  Catholic  Arch,  the  impregnable 
Citadel  of  the  communion  of  the  children  of  God. 

Who  lives  in  the  hearts  of  more  than  two  hun 
dred  millions  of  Christians,  and  in  whose  heart  the 
whole  world  lives: 

This  work  is  most  reverently  dedicated  by  his 
unworthy  priest  and  devoted  Son  in  Christ. 




Dedication    -       -       -       -       -       -       ..       ..       .        jjj 


Introductory    —      .-.-..„       -       •       -      ix 


The  value  and  necessity  of  Christian  Doctrine  -       -       .       .         Xxi 


An  exhortation  to  spread  the  Truth    --....    xxxv 



Why  we  are  in  this  World  ?---.-...       -3 

What  is  most  Necessary  for  us  to  know  and  to  believe?      -  8 

Who  is  Good  before  God  ?-----„.  -10 
What  will  be  the  Eeward  of  the  Good  ?---..  12 
What  will  be  the  Punishment  of  the  Wicked  ?  -  -  -  -  13 
What  then  should  be  our  Greatest  Care  in  this  World  ?  15 


§  1.  God  the  Father  our  Teacher    -------  17 

Who  can  teach  us  how  to  serve  God  according  to  his  Will?        -  17 

How  does  God  make  Himself  known  by  the  Visible  World  ?  -  18 

How  does  God  make  Himself  known  by  our  Conscience?  -       -  20 



When  did  God  make  Himself  known  by  his  Word?       ...  23 

Who  were  the  Patriarchs  ? -  24 

How  did  the  Patriarchs  serve  God  ?         -        -        -        -        -        -29 

Who  were  the  Prophets  ? 32 

How  did  the  Prophets  prove  their  Divine  Mission  ?               •  33 

What  is  a  Miracle  ? 33 

To  whom  does  God  grant  the  Gift  of  Miracles  ?               -        -     '  -  34 

What  is  a  Prophecy  ? 38 

Why  were  all  those  Prophecies  made  ?    -        -        -        -        -        -42 

In  whom  were  all  those  Prophecies  fulfilled  ?      -  43 

In  what  Condition  was  Mankind  at  the  Coming  of  the  Redeemer  ?  43 

§  2.  God  the  Son  our  Teacher 45 

Through  whom  did  God  reveal  Himself  most  clearly  ?  45 
How  do  we  know  that  Jesus  Christ  is  the  Promised  Redeemer  and 

the  Son  of  God? 47 

Whom  did  Christ  appoint  to  teach  his  Doctrine  to  all  Nations  ?  54 

How  were  the  Apostles  prepared  for  their  Divine  Mission?  55 

What  were  those  Powers  of  Christ  ? 57 

What  did  Christ  call  the  Apostles  and  those  who  believed  in  Him  ?  58 

Whom  did  Christ  appoint  to  take  his  Place  ?  60 

What  Power  had  the  other  Apostles  as  Teachers  ?  -  -  -  -  61 

What  Power  had  the  Apostles  as  Priests  ? 62 

What  Power  had  the  Apostles  as  Rulers  or  Pastors  of  the  Church  ?  66 

How  long  will  the  Church  last  ? -  -  69 

How  can  Christ  be  with  his  Apostles  to  the  End  of  the  World,  since 

the  Apostles  died  ? 70 

Who  is  the  Lawful  Successor  of  St.  Peter? 71 

Who  are  the  Lawful  Successors  of  the  other  Apostles  ?  75 

§  3.  God  the  Holy  Ghost  our  Teacher  -  ' 77 

Were  the  Apostles  to  exercise  their  Powers  immediately  after  they 

had  received  them  ?---_____  77 

When  did  the  Holy  Ghost  come  down  upon  the  Apostles  ?  -  81 

How  did  the  Apostles  prove  their  Divine  Mission  ?  -  83 
Is,  then,  the  Doctrine  of  the  Apostles  to  be  received  as  the  Doctrine 

of  Christ? .85 



Does  then,  the  Holy  Ghost  abide  -with  the  Church  ?  -  88 

Why  does  the  Holy  Ghost  abide  with  the  Church  ?  ...'.,-  90 
How  does  the  Holy  Ghost  preserve  the  Church  in  the  Purity  of 

Faith? 91 

When  does  the  Pope,  by  the  Assistance  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  teach 

infallibly? 100 

Are,  then,  the  Definitions  of  the  Pope  New  Articles  of  Faith  ?  -  105 

Is  Man,  then,  Infallible?-  -  -  - 107 

How  does  the  Holy  Ghost  preserve  the  Unity  of  Faith  in  the  Church?  108 

What  then  is  the  Faith  of  the  Koman  Catholic?  110 

§  4.  The  Catholic  Church  the  Guardian  of  Divine  Truth  -  -  118 

Has  the  Word  of  God  been  preserved  Pure  and  Uncorrupted  ?  -  118 

How  does  the  Church  preserve  the  Word  of  God?  -  -  -  -  121 

What  is  Holy  Scripture  ?--  -  -  -  -  -  -  125 

How  is  the  Holy  Scripture  divided  ? 125 

What  do  the  Books  of  the  Old  and  the  New  Testament  contain  ?  126 

What  is  Tradition? 128 

How  has  the  Unwritten  Word  of  God  come  down  to  us  ?  -  -  134 
Must  we  believe  the  Unwritten  Word  of  God  just  as  firmly  as  the 

Written? 137 

Is  it  Easy  for  Every  One  to  understand  the  Holy  Scripture  ?  -  139 

Who  is  the  Infallible  Interpreter  of  Holy  Scripture  ?  141 

Does  not  the  Church  forbid  the  Reading  of  the  Bible?  142 
Why  does  the  Church  forbid  the  Private  Interpretation  of  the 

Bible?        - 144 


How  many  Churches  did  Christ  establish  ?  -        -        -        -        -  153 

By  what  Marks  is  the  Church  of  Christ  easily  known  ?  -        -        -  154 

Which  Church  is  One,  Holy,  Catholic  and  Apostolic  ?  156 

Show  how  the  Catholic  Church  is  One 156 

Show  how  the  Catholic  Church  is  Holy       -----  165 

What  does  the  Word  Catholic  mean? 179 

Show  how  the  Eoman  Church  is  Catholic,  or  Universal     -       -  180 

viii  CONTENTS. 


Show  how  the  Catholic  Church  is  Apostolic.  -----  199 

Why  is  the  Catholic  Church  called  Koman?  ...  203 

Did  this  Power  of  the  Pope  also  include  the  Power  to  depose 

Temporal  Bulers  ? 206 

Can  Protestant  Sects  claim  to  be  One,  Holy,  Catholic  and  Apostolic  ?  224 
If,  then,  only  the  Koman  Church  is  One,  Holy,  Catholic,  and 

Apostolic,  what  follows? 243 

Is  the  Faith  of  the  Boman  Catholic  Divine  or  Human  ?  -  -  -  250 

Do  Protestant  Sects  teach  Divine  Faith  on  Divine  Authority?  -  251 

Will  such  Human  Faith  save  them  ? 261 

Must,  then,  all  who  wish  to  be  saved,  die  united  to  the  Catholic 

Church?         -        -        -        -'-        -        -        -        -        -  264 

Who  are  not  Members  of  the  Boman  Catholic  Church  ?  -  -  -  267 
Why  are  those  Persons  lost  who  have  been  justly  excommunicated, 

and  who  are  Unwilling  to  do  what  is  required  of  them  before 

they  are  absolved  ?         ........  272 

Would  it  be  right  to  say  that  one  who  was  not  received  into  the 

Church  before  his  Death  is  damned  ?-----  285 

Will  all  Catholics  be  saved? 300 

What  do  we  beliove  when  we  say,  "I  believe  the  Holy  Catholio 

Church "?•        .       ..       ........  305 


A  Word  to  every  Catholio       -  ^L»       -       -       -       -       -       •_  329 



OUR  Lord  and  Saviour,  Jesus  Christ,  has  declared  thai 
he  was  sent  by  his  heavenly  Father  "to  preach  the 
Gospel  to  the  poor."  (Luke  iv,  18.)  "Let  us  go,"  said 
he  to  his  apostles,  "  into  the  neighboring  towns  and 
cities,  that  I  may  preach  there  also,  for  to  this  purpose 
am  I  come."  (Mark  i,  38.)  This  mission  of  Jesus  Christ 
was  and  is  to  be  continued  by  his  priests :  "  As  the 
Father  hath  sent  me,  I  also  send  you."  Immediately 
before  ascending  to  heaven,  he  again  laid  and  impressed 
upon  all  pastors  of  souls  that  most  important  duty  of 
preaching.  His  last  solemn  word  to  those  whom  he 
charged  to  continue  his  work  is  :  "  All  power  is  given  to 
me  in  heaven  and  on  earth."  The  universe  belongs  to  me 
by  title  of  heritage.  Already  heaven  is  acquired  by  my 
labors  and  sufferings.  The  earth  remains  to  be  conquered, 
and  I  rely  on  you,  my  apostles,  my  priests,  to  subdue 
it  to  the  empire  of  my  grace :  "  Go,  then,  and  teach  all 
nations,  and  preach  my  Gospel  to  every  creature." 

In  compliance  with  this  obligation,  "the  apostles  went 
forth  and  preached  everywhere  "  (Mark  xvi,  20),  in  the 
face  of  all  kinds  of  opposition.  "  They  obeyed  God 
rather  than  men."  (Acts  v,  29.)  St.  Paul  would  not 
even  allow  any  one  to  regard  as  a  merit  his  zeal  to 


announce  the  Gospel.  To  preach  was  for  him,  as  he  tells 
us,  a  necessity.  He  uttered  against  himself  a  kind  of 
anathema  if  ever  he  neglected  so  sacred  a  duty:  "Woe 
to  me  if  I  do  not  preach  the  Gospel !"  What  he  most 
emphatically  insisted  on,  in  his  Epistles  to  Timothy  and 
Titus,  was  the  duty  of  preaching  the  word  of  God*  He 
adjures  his  two  ; disciples,  and  all  pastors  of  souls,  by  all 
that  is  most  holy  and  awful;  he  adjures  them  by  the 
presence  of  God  and  of  Jesus  Christ,  by  his  future  com 
ing,  by  his  eternal  reign,  to  preach  the  word  of  God,  to 
preach  it  in  season  and  out  of  season — to  use  all  per 
suasive  means  which  the  most  ardent  charity  inspires  : 
"  I  charge  thee,  before  God  and  Jesus  Christ,  who  shall 
judge  the  living  and  the  dead,  by  his  coming  and  his 
kingdom,  preach  the  word;  be  instant  in  it  in  season 
and  out  of  season  ;  reprove,  entreat,  rebuke  in  all  patience 
and  doctrine."  (2  Tim.  iv,  1,  2.) 

Hence  the  Church  has  never  ceased  to  exhort  her  pas 
tors  to  discharge  most  faithfully  their  duty  of  preaching 
the  word  of  God.  In  one  of  her  canons  she  ordains  that, 
if  a  priest  having  charge  of  souls  should  fail  to  give  them 
the  bread  of  the  word  of  God,  he  should  be  himself 
deprived  of  the  Eucharistic  Bread;  and  if  he  continue 
in  his  criminal  silence,  he  should  be  suspended.  The 
preaching  of  the  word  of  God  has,  indeed,  always  been 
the  great  object  of  the  solicitude  of  the  Church.  The 
Council  of  Trent  arms  the  bishops  with  her  thunders,  and 
charges  them  to  inflict  her  censures  upon  those  mute 
pastors  whom  the  Holy  Ghost  has  branded  as  "dumb 
dogs,  not  able  to  bark."  (Isa.  lyi,  10.)  The  all-important 
duty  of  giving  religious  instruction  was  never  more  bind 
ing,  and  more  necessary  to  be  complied  with,  than  it  is  in 


our  age.  What  the  Fathers  of  the  Council  of  Trent  say 
on  this  duty  applies  more  emphatically  to  our  age  and 
country : 

11  As  the  preaching  of  the  divine  word,"  they  say, 
"  should  never  be  interrupted  in  the  Church  of  God,  so 
in  these  our  days  it  becomes  necessary  to  labor,  with  more 
than  ordinary  zeal  and  piety,  to  nurture  and  strengthen 
the  faithful  with  sound  and  wholesome  doctrine,  as  with 
the  food  of  life :  for  false  prophets  have  gone  forth  into 
the  world  (1  John  iv,  1),  with  various  and  strange 
doctrines  (Heb.  xiii,  9),  to  corrupt  the  minds  of  the  faith 
ful,  of  whom  the  Lord  has  said :  I  sent  them  not,  and 
they  ran  j  I  spoke  not  to  them,  yet  they  prophesied. 
(Jer.  xxiii,  21.) 

"  In  this  unholy  work  their  impiety,  versed  as  it  is  in 
all  the  arts  of  Satan,  has  been  carried  to  such  extremes, 
that  it  would  seem  almost  impossible  to  confine  it  within 
bounds ;  and  did  we  not  rely  on  the  splendid  promises  of 
the  Saviour,  who  declared  that  he  had  built  his  Church  on 
so  solid  a  foundation  that  the  gates  of  hell  should  never 
prevail  against  it  (Matt,  xvi,  18),  we  should  be  filled  with 
most  alarming  apprehensions,  lest,  beset  on  every  side  by 
such  a  host  of  enemies,  assailed  by  so  many  and  such 
formidable  engines,  the  Church  of  God  should,  in  these 
days,  fall  beneath  their  combined  efforts.  Not  to  mention 
those  illustrious  states  which  heretofore  professed,  in  piety 
and  holiness,  the  Catholic  faith,  transmitted  to  them  by 
their  ancestors,  but  are  now  gone  astray,  wandering  from 
the  paths  of;  truth,  and  openly  declaring  that  their  best 
claims  of  piety  are  founded  on  a  total  abandonment  of 
the  faith  of  their  fathers,— -there  is  no  region  however 
remote,  no  place  however  securely  guarded,  no  corner  of 


the  Christian  republic,  into  which  this  pestilence  has  not 
sought  secretly  to  insinuate  itself.  Those  who  proposed 
to  themselves  to  corrupt  the  minds  of  the  faithful,  aware 
that  they  could  not  hold  immediate  personal  intercourse 
with  all,  and  thus  pour  into  their  ears  their  poisoned  doc 
trines,  by  adopting  a  different  plan,  disseminated  error 
and  impiety  more  easily  and  extensively.  Besides  those 
voluminous  works  by  which  they  sought  the  subversion 
of  the  Catholic  faith,  they  also  composed  innumerable 
smaller  books,  which,  veiling  their  errors  under  the  sem 
blance  of  piety,  deceived  with  incredible  facility  the  simple 
and  the  incautious."  (Preface  to  the  Catechism  of  the 
Council  of  Trent.)  "It  is,  indeed,  incumbent  upon  the 
ministers  of  the  altar,'7  says  our  Holy  Father,  Pius  IX, 
in  his  address  of  1877  to  the  Lenten  preachers,  "  to  lift  up 
their  voices  as  loudly  as  possible,  to  save  society  from  the 
abyss."  "  Cry,"  says  the  Lord  to  the  pastor,  "cease  not, 
lift  up  thy  voice  like  a  trumpet,  and  show  my  people  their 
wicked  doings."  (Isa.  Iviii,  1.)  "  If  thou  dost  not  speak 
to  warn  the  wicked  man  from  his  way,  that  wicked  man 
shall  die  in  his  iniquity,  but  I  will  require  his  blood  at 
thy  hand."  (Ezech.  xxxiii,  8.) 

Now,  if  we  see  such  perverse  zeal  in  the  ministers  of 
Satan  to  spread,  by  all  possible  means,  their  doctrines,  with 
what  zeal  should  not  Christians,  and  especially  Christian 
pastors,  be  moved  to  make  known  the  ^Gospel  truths,  and 
repeat  them  in  season  and  out  of  season,  regardless  of 
fastidious  minds  which  are  displeased  when  a  priest 
repeats  a  thing,  and  goes  over  old  but  necessary  ground 
again !  "  What !"  exclaims  St.  Francis  de  Sales, — "  what ! 
is  it  not  necessary,  in  working  iron,  to  heat  it  over  and 
over  again,  and  in  painting,  to  touch  and  retouch  the 


canvas  repeatedly  J  How  much  more  necessary,  then,  is 
it  to  repeat  the  same  thing  again  and  again,  in  order  to 
imprint  eternal  truths  on  hardened  intellects,  and  on  hearts 
confirmed  in  evil !  St.  John  the  Baptist  and  the  Apostle 
St.  Paul  spoke  from  out  their  prison  walls  j  St.  Peter 
spoke  freely  and  forcibly  before  the  ancients,  saying  that 
it  is  better  to  obey  God  than  men  j  and  the  Apostle  St. 
Andrew  spoke  from  the  wood  of  the  cross." 
.  When  in  Japan,  St.  Francis  Xavier  climbed  mountains, 
and  exposed  himself  to  innumerable  dangers,  to  seek  out 
those  wretched  barbarians  in  the  caverns  where  they  dwelt 
like  wild  beasts,  and  to  instruct  them  in  the  truths  of 
salvation.  St.  Francis  de  Sales,  in  the  hope  of  converting 
the  heretics  of  the  province  of  Chablais,  risked  his  life 
by  crossing  a  river  every  day  for  a  year,  on  his  hands 
and  knees,  upon  a  frozen  beam,  that  he  might  reach,  and 
preach  to,  those  stubborn  men.  St.  Fidelis,  in  order  to 
bring  the  heretics  of  a  certain  place  back  to  God,  cheer 
fully  offered  up  his  life  for  their  salvation. 

Being  desirous  to  contribute  my  mite  to  meet  and 
withstand  the  mischievous  activity  of  the  emissaries  of 
Satan,  to  rear  the  edifice  of  Christian  knowledge  on  its 
own  secure  and  solid  basis, — the  true  teaching  of  its  divinely 
commissioned  teachers, — to  afford  the  great  mass  of  the 
faithful  a  fixed  standard  of  Christian  belief,  easily  accessible 
to  their  understanding,  and  to  pastors  a  practical  form  of 
religious  instruction ;  to  supply  a  pure  and  ever-flowing 
fountain  of  living  waters,  to  refresh  and  strengthen  at 
once  the  pastor  and  the  flock,  I  have,  to  the  best  of  my 
ability,  arranged  in  order,  expounded,  I  trust  with  clear 
ness,  and  sustained  by  argument,  the  entire  economy  of 
religion,  comprehending,  as  it  does,  the  whole  substance  of 


doctrinal  and  practical  religion.  As,  in  imparting  instruc 
tion  of  any  sort,  the  method  and  manner  of  communicating 
it  are  of  considerable  importance,  so,  in  conveying  instruc 
tion  to  the  people,  the  method  and  manner  should  be 
deemed  of  the  greatest  moment.  As  to  the  method,  I  have 
been  guided  by  St.  Augustine,  who  says  in  his  treatise, 
"  Manner  of  Teaching  the  Ignorant :"  "  The  true  method 
of  teaching  religion  is  to  begin  our  account  of  religion  from 
the  creation  of  all  things  in  a  state  of  perfection,  and  de 
velop  the  whole  history  of  Christianity  down  to  the  exist 
ing  period  of  the  Church,  and,  through  the  Church,  down 
to  our  own  time ;"  in  other  words,  to  show  how  Almighty 
God,  from  the  beginning  of  the  world,  has  always  been 
the  teacher  of  mankind  through  those  whom  he  first 
taught  in  person,  and  then  commanded  to  teach  others  in 
his  name  and  by  his  authority.  This  method  I  have  followed 
in  my  series  of  Catechisms  as  the  one  which  appeared  to 
me  the  most  natural,  the  most  sensible,  the  easiest  to  be 
understood,  the  best  calculated  to  establish  faith,  and  the 
most  necessary  in  our  age  of  unbelief  and  corruption. 
What  is  more  natural  than  to  speak  first  of  the  divine 
teacher,  and  afterward  of  what  he  teaches  ?  What  more 
sensible  than  to  rear  the  sublime  edifice  of  all  Christian 
knowledge  on  its  own  secure  and  solid  foundation, — the 
authority  of  God  in  the  Church  ?  What  more  easy  to  be 
understood  than  the  foundation  of  our  religion,  if  historically 
developed  ?  What  can  be  better  calculated  to  inspire 
faith  than  the  method  which  shows  how  God  teaches  us 
through  those  whom  he  has  appointed  to  teach  in  his  name 
and  by  his  authority?  What,  above  all,  more  necessary 
in  these  days  than  to  give  Catholics  and  non-Catholics 
a  correct  idea  of  the  spirit  and  essence  of  our  religion, 


in  order  to  make  them  love  and  embrace  it  with  a  stead 
fast  faith  f 

A  large  portion  of  the  Catholic  laity  are  insufficiently 
instructed  in  the  principles  and  reasons  of  their  religion, 
and  need  a  fuller  instruction,  in  order  to  detect  and  resist 
the  wiles  of  their  Protestant  and  infidel  enemies,  who  lie 
in  wait  for  their  souls.  They  need  the  fullest  instruction, 
not  only  in  Catholic  dogmas  and  practices,  but  in  the 
great  underlying  principles  which  show  that  the  Church 
is  inherent  in  the  divine  order  of  creation  and  represents 
it,  and  that  whatever  is  incompatible  with  her  teaching  is 
incompatible  with  her  divine  order,  nay,  with  the  Divine 
Being  himself.  They  need  it,  in  order  to  detect  and 
avoid  the  poisonous  breath  of  the  world.  The  Church  is 
not  the  one  religious  body  among  many  j  it  is  the  only 
religious  body.  As  without  God  there  is  nothing,  so 
without  the  Church,  or  outside  of  her,  there  is  no  religion, 
no  spiritual  life.  All  the  pretended  religions  outside  of 
her  are  shams,  at  best  have  no  basis,  stand  on  nothing,  and 
are  nothing,  and  can  give  no  life  or  support  to  the  soul, 
but  leave  it  out  of  the  divine  order  to  drop  into  hell.  Cath 
olics  need  to  know  this,  and  to  understand  well  how  their 
religion  is  based  on  divine  revelation,  and  its  guardian 
ship  on  earth  invested  in  a  body  of  men  presided  over  by  an 
infallible  guide,  divinely  commissioned  to  teach  all  men, 
authoritatively  and  infallibly,  all  its  sacred  and  immutable 
truths, — truths  which  we  are  consequently  bound  in  con 
science  to  receive  without  hesitation.  This  is  the  fixed 
standard  of  Christian  belief;  it  is  the  basis  upon  which 
all  dogmas  rest.  If  this  all-important  truth  is  well  under 
stood  by  Catholics,  they  will  not  easily  be  caught  in  the 
snares  of  infidelity. 


Nor  can  a  discussion  of  doctrinal  points  be  of  any  great 
use  for  one  who  is  not  thoroughly  convinced  of  the  divine 
authority  of  the  Church.  This  being  once  accepted,  every 
thing  else  follows  logically,  as  a  matter  of  course.  Hence, 
no  one  should  be  admitted  to  the  fold  of  Christ  who 
does  not  firmly  hold  and  declare  that  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church  ruled  by  the  successor  of  St.  Peter  is  God's  sole 
appointed  teacher  of  the  Gospel  on  earth.  However 
familiar  persons  outside  the  fold  may  be  with  Catholic 
doctrines,  or  however  much  they  may  believe  in  Catholic 
dogmas,  without  holding  this  the  fundamental  truth  of  Cath 
olic  faith,  they  should  never  be  allowed  to  join  the  Church. 
The  moment  it  is  well  understo9d  and  firmly  believed, 
there  need  be  but  little  delay  about  their  abjuration. 

As  to  the  manner  of  presenting  the  truths  of  the  Cath 
olic  religion,  it  should  be,  says  St.  Francis  de  Sales  in 
his  happy  way,  very  charitable.  "  Mildness,"  said  he, 
"  has  more  influence  over  men  than  severity.  We  catch 
more  flies  with  a  spoonful  of  honey  than  with  a  barrel  of 
vinegar.  Pride  is  so  natural  to  man,  especially  to  relig 
ious  sectarians,  because  they  have  no  infallible  authority 
for  their  doctrine.  Hence  every  harsh  W9rd  imbitters 
their  hearts,  rather  than  instructs  them.  Every  time  I 
have  made  use  of  cutting  language,  of  reproachful  or 
fault-finding  words,  I  had  cause  to  regret  it.  If  it  has 
been  my  fortune  to  win  over  some  heretics"  ( he  is  said  to 
have  converted  seventy-two  thousand),  "  it  is  to  be  attrib 
uted  to  the  power  of^  gentleness.  Charity  and  sincere 
affection  have  more  influence  over  the  heart,  I  will  not 
say  than  severity,  but  even  more  than  the  force  and 
solidity  of  argument.  Jesus  Christ,  who  might  have 
thought  severity  necessary  toward  the  stiff-necked  Jews. 


nevertheless  taught  his  divine  doctrine  with  unparalleled 
amiability  and  affection.     Those  who  allow  their  zeal  to 
get  the  better  of  their  temper  when  conversing  with  sin 
ners  and  non-Catholics,  make  their  cause  suspicious.     The 
light  of  truth,  even  when  presented  by  a  cautious  hand, 
often  injures  the  weak  eyes  of  dissenters ;  but  when  it  is 
rashly,  and  regardlessly  of  feelings  and  dispositions,  thrust 
full  into  the  face,  it  entirely  blinds  them.    Never  will  truth 
make  its  way  forward  without  charity.    It  is  quite  different 
with  impiety ;  for,  if  we  take  from  the  works  of  Luther, 
Calvin,  Zwinglius,  and  Beza,  all  calumnies,  abusive  lan 
guage,  invectives,  mockeries    against   the  pope  and  the 
Church,  there  will  be  very  little  left  to  engage  attention." 
When  attacked  by  heretics  with  insolent  language,  he  an 
swered  them  calmly  and  mildly,  without  the  least  appear 
ance  of  contention,  in  accordance  with  the  doctrine  of  St. 
Paul:   "If  any  man  seem  to  be  contentious,  we  have  no 
such  custom,  nor  hath  the  Church  of  God."  (1  Cor.  xi,  16.) 
He  listened  most  kindly  to  the  objections  of  heretics  or 
infidels.     When  it  was  his  turn  to  speak,  instead  of  wast 
ing  his  time  in  disputing  with  them,  he  showed  them  the 
beauty  of  the   Catholic  faith  in  general  j  then  depicted 
the  impiety  of  those  who  had  defamed  it,  and  showed  the 
deadly  effect  of  Protestantism  on  the  soul,  on  the  heart, 
on  the  intellect,  on  the  morals  and  manners,  on  politics  and 
society  itself.     Each  truth  of  the  faith,  in  particular,  he 
presented  in  its  genuine  simplicity,  and  extolled  the  grace 
and  beauty  peculiar  to  it  in  such  a  natural  manner,  that  all 
hearts  were  irresistibly  won  for  it.     He  was  most  careful 
never  to  allow  a  single  word  of  controversy  to  fall  from 
his  lips.     Then  he  passed  on  to  such  pious  reflections  and 
thoughts  as  the  subject  naturally  suggested,  and  it  was  in 


this  that  his  hopes  principally  rested :  "  For,"  said  he, 
"  my  experience  of  thirty  years7  ministry  has  taught  me 
that  man  is  converted  only  when  his  heart  is  touched,  his 
conscience  awakened  from  its  slumbers,  convicted  of  sin, 
startled  with  a  fearful  looking  forward  to  judgment  to 
come,  and  made  to  cry  out,  'Men,  brethren,  what  shall 
we  do  to  be  saved  ? 7  When  we  present  moral  truths 
with  piety  and  zeal,  they  are  like  so  many  burning  coals 
thrown  into  the  faces  of  our  hearers,  who  are  edified  by 
this  manner  of  speaking,  for  they  have  a  conscience, 
though  it  may  have  long  slept,  and  in  the  interior  of  their 
souls  a  witness  for  the  truth  of  what  we  tell  them,  though 
they  may  have  long  smothered  his  voice.  When,  assisted 
by  the  grace  of  God,  we  have  awakened  conscience  from 
its  slumbers,  and  made  the  voice  of  reason,  which  has 
been  silenced,  as  it  was  amid  pagan  abominations,  audible 
in  the  depths  of  the  soul,  and  the  man  has  become  alarmed 
for  his  safety,  he  becomes  more  tractable,  and  is  more 
easily  induced  to  receive  private  instruction,  in  which  we 
may  easily  brush  away  the  cobweb  theories,  negations, 
sophistries  and  falsehoods  of  Protestantism,  and  instruct 
the  neophyte  in  the  glorious  and  life-giving  truths  of  the 

As  I  have  endeavored  to  follow  St.  Augustine's  method, 
and  St.  Francis  de  Sales'  manner,  of  conveying  instruc 
tion,  it  is  hoped  that  this  work  may  prove  to  all  a  treasure 
of  knowledge,  a  source  of  comfort,  a  monitor  of  conscience, 
an  arsenal  of  defence,  an  antidote  to  neutralize  the  poison 
of  false  doctrines  and  principles,  a  minister  to  do  away 
with  prejudice,  remove  ignorance,  promote  piety,  and  con 
firm  belief. 


Should  some  answers  be  thought  rather  long  for  cate 
chetical  instruction,  it  should  be  borne  in  mind  that  the 
work  is  intended  not  only  for  the  ignorant  who  are  to  be 
catechised,  but  also  for  all  persons  who  desire  information 
and  instruction  ;  and  principally  for  priests,  school-brothers 
and  school-sisters,  Sunday-school  teachers,  and  for  all  those 
who  have  charge  of  the  religious  training  of  the  young. 
It  is  left  to  the  discretion  of  the  teachers  to  select  such 
portions  of  the  answers  as  suit  best  the  capacity  of  those 
whom  they  are  to  instruct. 

The  "  Intermediate  No.  Ill  Catechism,  for  High  Schools 
and  Academies,"  published  in  1877,  forms  the  text  of  the 
work  ;  and  the  order  of  questions  and  answers  there 
observed  is  preserved  throughout. 

I  have  only  to  add  that  I  submit  this,  and  whatever  else 
I  have  published,  to  the  better  judgment  of  our  bishops, 
but  especially  to  the  Holy  See,  as  I  am  most  desirous  to 
think  nothing,  to  say  nothing,  to  teach  nothing,  but  what  is 
approved  of  by  those  to  whose  charge  the  sacred  deposit 
of  faith  has  been  committed, — those  who  watch  over  us? 
and  are  "  to  render  an  account  to  God  for  our  souls." 



IF  we  wish  to  go  to  a  certain  city,  the  first  thing  we  do 
is  to  ask  the  way  that  leads  to  it.  If  we  do  not  know 
the  way,  we  can  never  arrive  at  that  city.  So,  too,  if  we 
wish  to  go  to  heaven,  we  must  know  the  way  that  leads  to 
it.  Now,  the  way  that  leads  to  heaven  is  the  knowing 
and  doing  of  God's  will.  But  it  is  God  alone  who  can 
teach  us  his  will ;  that  is,  what  he  requires  us  to  believe 
and  to  do,  in  order  to  be  happy  with  him  in  heaven.  And 
God  himself  came  and  taught  us  the  truths  which  we  must 
believe,  the  commandments  which  we  must  keep,  and 
the  means  of  grace  which  we  must  use  to  work  out  our 
salvation.  To  know  God's  will  is  to  know  the  true  religion. 
This  knowledge  is,  indeed,  the  greatest  of  all  treasures. 
Hence  the  Lord  says  to  all  men,  through  the  great  prophet 
Jeremias :  "  Let  not  the  wise  man  glory  in  his  wisdom, 
nor  the  strong  man  in  his  strength,  nor  the  rich  man  in 
the  abundance  of  his  wealth  ;  but  let  him  that  does  glory, 
glory  in  his  knowledge  of  me,"  that  is,  of  my  will.  (Jer. 
ix,  23).  It  is  for  the  same  reason  that  Jesus  Christ,  the 
Son  of  God,  exhdrts  all  men  to  "  seek  first  the  kingdom 
of  God  and  his  justice  "  (Matt,  iv,  33),  and  calls  those 
"  blessed  who  hunger  and  thirst  after  justice,"  that  is,  after 
the  knowledge  of  God's  holy  will.  "  Martha,  Maltha,"  he 
said,  "  thou  art  solicitous  about  many  things.  Ma'ry,"  who 


is  sitting  at  my  feet,  to  listen  to  my  words,  has  "chosen 
the  better  part." 

As  the  Christian  Doctrine,  or  the  way  to  heaven,  has 
been  revealed  by  God  himself,  it  is  clear  that  all  those 
who  do  not  know  the  Christian  Doctrine,  who  never  attend 
to  its  explanation,  but  remain  ignorant  of  their  religious 
duties  during  life,  cannot  know  the  way  to  heaven,  and, 
not  knowing  it,  can  never  reach  heaven.  They  are  con 
tinually  going  astray,  and  taking  the  wrong  road  that  leads 
to  hell.  There  is  no  middle  way.  If  we  are  not  on  the 
road  to  heaven,  we  are  on  the  road  to  hell.  We  must 
walk  either  one  way  or  the  other. 

How  necessary  it  is,  then,  to  learn  the  Christian  Doctrine ! 
What  will  become  of  us,  or  what  sort  of  life  shall  we  lead 
hereafter,  if  we  are  careless  about  being  instructed  in  the 
religion  upon  which  the  happiness  not  only  of  the  present, 
but  also  of  the  future  life,  depends.  Not  knowing  God, 
not  knowing  how  to  love  and  serve  him,  man  is  like  the 
beasts  of  the  field,  nay,  inferior  to  those  beasts ;  for  the 
life  of  a  man  without  religion  is  a  daily  outrage  against 
God,  who  created  man  to  know  him,  love  him,  and  serve  him 
in  this  world.  Instead  of  this,  the  man  without  religion 
becomes  the  servant  of  the  devil  ;  when  he  dies,  God  will 

not   receive    him ;  he    will   cast  him  off,  and  the  miser- 

/  / 

able  man  will  fall  into  the  hands  of  the  devil,  whom  he  has 

served  all  his  life,  and  who  will  repay  that  service  by 
tormenting  him  forever  in  hell. 

A  person  who  knows  and  speaks  many  languages, — 
French,  Latin,  German,  Italian, — is  admired  for  his  learn 
ing.  But  to  be  fully  instructed  in  our  religion  is  a  thou 
sand  times  more  beautiful,  and  a  thousand  times  more 
necessary  and  more  useful.  It  is  the  knowledge  of 


knowledge,  the  service  of  services.  It  is  for  this  reason 
that  our  dear  Saviour  said :  "  Blessed  are  they  that  hear 
the  word  of  God;"  and  aga'in :  li  Blessed  are  the  ears 
that  hear  what  you  hear,"  i.  e.,  the  Christian  Doctrine. 

If  pastors  of  souls  are  obliged,  under  pain  of  mortal 
sin,  to  preach  the  word  of  God,  the  faithful,  too,  are 
bound  in  conscience  to  go  and  listen  to  the  word  of  God. 

Does  a  child  not  listen  to  the  word  of  his  father? 
Does  a  servant  not  listen  to  the  word  of  his  master? 
Does  a  senseless  beast  not  hear  the  voice  of  its  keeper  ? 
And  shall  a  Christian  not  listen  to  the  word  which  God, 
his  Creator,  speaks  to  him  in  sermons  and  instructions  ? 
The  Gospel  tells  us  that  Jesus  Christ  went  to  the  temple 
in  Jerusalem,  and  there  listened  attentively  to  the  expla 
nation  which  the  Jewish  priests  gave  of  the  law  of  God. 
It  was  our  Lord  himself  who  had  given  the  law,  and  he 
knew  its  meaning.  There  was,  then,  no  necessity  at  all 
for  him  to  listen  to  the  explanation  of  the  law.  Yet  he 
went  and  listened  attentively  to  it,  in  order  to  show  us,  by 
his  example,  the  obligation  under  which  we  are  of  listen 
ing  to  the  word  of  God.  As,  in  corporal  distempers,  a 
total  loss  of  appetite,  which  no  medicines  can  restore, 
forebodes  certain  dec^y  and  death,  so,  in  the  spiritual  life 
of  the  soul,  a  neglect  of,  or  disrelish  for,  religious  instruc 
tion  is  a  most  fatal  symptom.  Wha^  hopes  can  we  enter 
tain  of  a  person  for  whom  the  science  of  virtue  and  of 
eternal  salvation  seems  to  have  no  interest  f 

u  He  who  turneth  away  his  ears  from  hearing  the  law,'5 
says  the  Holy  Ghost, — "  his  prayers  shall  be  an  abomina 
tion."  (Prov.  xxviii,  9.)  St.  Paul  wrote  to  the  Christians 
of  Rome  that  "  those  who  did  not  like  to  have  the  know 
ledge  of  God,  were  delivered  up  by  God  to  a  reprobate 


sense,  to  do  those  things  that  are  unbecoming,  to  become 
filled  with  all  iniquity,  malice,  fornication,  avarice,  wicked 
ness,  full  of  envy,  murder,  contention,  deceit,  malignity, 
hateful  to  God,  proud,  haughty,  inventors  of  evil  things, 
disobedient  to  parents,  foolish,  dissolute,  without  affection, 
without  fidelity,  without  mercy."  (Rom.  i,  28-32.)  "  He, 
therefore,  who  is  of  God,"  says  Jesus  Christ,  "  heareth 
the  word  of  God;  but  he  who  heareth  it  not,  is  not  of 
God."  (John  viii,  47.)  But  u  whosoever  shall  not  receive 
you,  nor  hear  your  words,"  says  our  Lord  to  the  apostles, 
"  going  forth  out  of  that  house  or  city,  shake  off  the  dust 
from  your  feet.  Amen  I  say  to  you,  it  shall  be  more 
tolerable  for  the  land  of  Sodom  and  Gomorrha  in  the 
day  of  judgment,  than  for  that  city." 

Daily  experience,  indeed,  shows  that  there  is  no  more 
effectual  means  for  reclaiming  sinners  to  penance,  and 
rousing  the  just  to  greater  fervor  in  the  service  of  God, 
than  an  assiduous  listening  to  the  word  of  God.  David, 
learned  and  enlightened  as  he  was,  repented  of  his  crime 
of  adultery  only  after  Nathan  the  prophet  had  reproved 
hip  for  it  in  the  name  of  God.  Josaphat  would  not  have 
given  up  his  sinful  alliance  with  an  idolatrous  people,  had 
not  Jehu,  in  the  name  of  God,  sharply  reprimanded  him 
for  it.  St.  Augustine  was  very  learned ;  his  conscience 
reproached  him  sharply  for  his  bad  life  ;  he  felt  very  un 
happy,  and  yet  for  all  that,  he  did  not  abandon  his  evil 
ways  until  he  came  to  Milan,  where  he  was  converted  by 
the  sermons  and  instructions  of  St.  Ambrose.  Would  that 
we  could  see  the  hearts  of  many  before  and  after  a  sermon  or 
an  instruction  !  What  a  sudden  change  for  the  better 
would  be  noted  in  many  hearers  who  went  to  hear  the  word 
of  God  without  thinking  in  the  least  of  changing  their 


manner  of  life,  but  who,  after  the  sermon,  left  the  church 
with   deep   sorrow  for  their  sins,  and  a  y  true   purpose   of 
amendment ! 

The  devil  knows  and  fears  this  po'wer  of  the  word  of 
God.  Hence  he  makes  all  possible  efforts  to  prevent  both 
the  just  and  sinners  from  going  to  listen  to  sermons  and 
instructions.  He  suggests  to  them :  You  are  sufficiently 
instructed;  you  know  all  your  Christian  duties  j  you  have 
already  heard  so  many  sermons,  you  can  hear  nothing  new  ; 
you  may  read  in  books  all  that  can  be  said  in  sermons, 
and  thus  save  yourself  the  fatigue  of  going  to  church  and 
staying  there  so  long.  If  he  cannot  prevent  them  at  all 
from  going,  he  does  all  in  his  power  to  distract  them  during 
the  sermon,  or  make  them  feel  sleepy,  or  bored  in  listen 
ing  to  it,  in  order  thus  to  prevent  them  from  reaping  any 
benefit  from  the  word  of  God. 

We  read  in  the  life  of  St.  Anthony  of  Padua  that  the 
devil  often  caused  disturbance  during  the  sermons  of  this 
great  saint.  One  day  a  noble  lady  was  listening  with  the 
greatest  attention  to  his  preaching.  Suddenly  a  strange 
messenger  stood  before  her,  and  gave  her  a  letter  which 
stated  that  her  darling  child  was  dead.  Alarmed  at  this 
sad  news,  she  rose  immediately  to  leave  the  church.  On 
beholding  this,  St.  Anthony  cried  out  to  her :  "  Stay,  for 
your  child  is  not  dead.  That  strange  messenger  is  but  a 
disguised  devil."  Something  similar  happened  during  a 
sermon  of  St.  Vincent  Ferrer.  One  day,  whilst  he  was 
preaching  in  a  public  square,  in  presence  of  a  large' 
audience,  there  were  seen  three  wild  horses,  running 
toward  the  people.  Now,  when  St.  Vincent  saw  that 
every  one  of  his  hearers  was  greatly  frightened,  and 
endeavored  to  save  himself  by  flight,  he  cried  in  a 


loud  voice :  u  Stay,  be  not  afraid,  those  horses  will  no* 
hurt  you;  they  are  evil  spirits,  who  have  come  to  pre- 
vdnt  you  from  listening  to  the  word  of  God,  and  from 
being  converted."  He  then  made  the  sign  of  the  cross 
over  the  horses,  and  the  evil  spirits  suddenly  disappeared, 

If  only  all  men  were  so  well  persuaded  of  the  -necessity 
of  hearing  the  word  of  God,  and  of  its  wholesome  effects, 
as  the  devil  is,  the  Church  would  be  crowded  at  every 
sermon  and  instruction.  Whilst  we  listen  to  the  word  of 
God,  Jesus  Christ  speaks  at  the  same  time  to  our  hearts, 
since  he  is  then  present  with  us,  according  to  his  promise  j 
"  Where  there  are  two  or  three  gathered  together  in  my 
name,  there  am  I  in  the  midst  of  them."  (Matt,  xyiii,  20.) 
Whence  the  same  happens  to  us  as  befell  the  two  disciples 
on  the  road  to  Emmaus  :  hearing  the  words  of  Christ,  they 
felt  their  hearts  burn  within  them.  (Luke  xxiv,  32.) 

St.  Anthony  the  hermit,  while  listening  to  the  words  of 
the  holy  Gospel,  felt  himself  so  powerfully  moved,  that  he 
forsook  the  world  and  all  that  it  had,  and  withdrew  into 
the  wilderness,  to  live  alone  with  God.  The  like  is  also 
related  of  St.  Nicholas  of  Tolentino.  On  hearing  a  sermon 
on  the  vanity  of  earthly  things,  he  conceived  such  a  dis 
gust  for  them,  that  he  turned  his  back  upon  the  world,  and 
hastened  to  hide  himself  in  a  cloister. 

Every  Christian  should,  then,  always  bear  in  mind  what 
our  Lord  says  in  the  Gospel :  "  Not  in  bread  alone  doth 
man  live,  but  in  every  word  that  proceedeth  from  the 
mouth  of  God."  (Matt,  iv,  4.) 

God  is  so  pleased  with  those  who  eagerly  listen  to  the 
explanation  of  the  Christian  Doctrine,  that  he  often  mani 
fests  his  pleasure  by  miracles. 

One  day  four  thousand,  and  at  another  time  five  thou- 


sand  people  followed  our  Lord  into  the  wilderness  to  hear 
him  preach  5  and  as  they  had  nothing  to  eat,  he  multiplied 
a  few  fishes  and  loaves  of  bread  in  so  wonderful  a 
manner  that  all  were  filled.  St.  Gregory  relates  a  remark 
able  circumstance  of  a  visit  which  St.  Benedict  paid  to 
his  sister,  St.  Scholastica.  After  they  had  taken  supper, 
Scholastica  requested  her  brother  Benedict  to  delay  his 
return  to  his  monastery  until  the  next  day,  in  order  that 
they  might  entertain  themselves  until  morning  on  religious 
subjects,  especially  on  the  happiness  of  the  other  life.  St. 
Benedict,  unwilling  to  transgress  his  rule,  told  her  that  he 
could  not  pass  a  night  out  of  his  monastery.  So  he  begged 
her  not  to  insist  any  longer  upon  the  violation  of  his  rule. 
When  Scholastica  saw  that  her  brother  was  resolved  on 
going  home,  she  laid  her  hands,  joined,  upon  the  table, 
and  her  head  upon  them,  and  with  many  tears  begged  of 
Almighty  God  to  prevent  her  brother  from  returning  home, 
in  order  that  she  might  have  the  pleasure  to  listen  to  his 
spiritual  discourse.  No  sooner  had  she  ended  her  prayer, 
than  a  tremendous  storm  of  rain,  thunder,  and  lightning, 
began  to  rage.  St.  Benedict  was  forced  to  remain,  in  spite 
of  himself.  He  complained  to  his  sister,  saying :  u  God 
forgive  you,  sister  !  what  have  you  done  1 "  She  answered  : 
"  I  asked  of  you  a  favor,  and  you  refused  it ;  I  asked  it  of 
Almighty  God,  and  he  granted  it.  Go  now  if  you  can." 
So  St.  Benedict  was  obliged  to  stay  with  his  sister 
Scholastica  until  next  day.  They  spent  the  night  in 
conversation  upon  spiritual  subjects,  chiefly  on  the  hap 
piness  of  the  blessed,  after  which  both  most  ardently 
aspired,  and  which  she  went  to  enjoy  four  days  after. 

One  day  Brother  Albert,  Provincial  of  the  Franciscans, 
was  to  preach  in  the  church  of  the  convent  in  which  St. 


Catharine  of  Bologna  lived.  Catharine  had  just  put  the 
bread  in  the  oven  when  the  bell  rang  for  the  sermon. 
Immediately  making  the  sign  of  the  cross,  she  said  to  the 
bread,  "  I  recommend  you  to  the  Lord's  care,"  and  there 
upon  she  left  the  bakehouse,  and  went  into  the  church. 
The  preacher  spoke  for  five  hours :  it  was  more  than 
time  enough  for  the  bread  to  be  burned  and  reduced  to 
cinders  j  however,  when  she  took  it  out  of  the  oven,  it 
was  of  a  more  beautiful  brown  than  usual.  (Life  of  the 
Saint,  p.  327.) 

One  day  St.  Anthony  of  Padua  preached  to  an  immense 
concourse  of  people.  It  was  a  beautiful  summer's  day. 
But  scarcely  had  he  begun  his  sermon,  when  the  sky 
clouded  over,  and  showed  every  symptom  of  a  very  severe 
storm.  The  saint  went  on  quietly,  notwithstanding  the 
peals  of  thunder  and  the  flashes  of  lightning  that  played 
among  the  clouds.  The  people  were  frightened,  and 
prepared  to  seek  a  shelter  from  the  drenching  rain  that 
threatened  them.  When  St.  Anthony  noticed  the  une'asi- 
ness  and  fright  of  his  auditors,  he  recollected  himself  for 
a  moment,  and  then  cried  out,  in  a  loud  and  clear  voice : 
lt  Christians,  fear  nothing ;  do  not  leave  your  places  j 
remain  where  you  are,  and  I  promise  you,  in  the  name  of 
God,  that  not  one  drop  of  rain  shall  fall  upon  you."  At 
these  words  the  people  felt  easy  :  no  one  moved  from  his 
place.  Wonderful  to  relate,  the  rain  fell  in  torrents,  the 
hail  devastated  the  surrounding  fields,  but  the  sky  aboVe 
the  auditory  of  St.  Anthony  remained  clear  and  serene. 
(Life  of  St.  Anthony  of  Padua.) 

If  God,  on  the  one  hand,  has,  by  miracles,  shown  the  great 
pleasure  which  he  takes  in  those  who  are  eager  to  hear 
his  word,  he  also,  on  the  other,  has,  by  frightful  punish- 


ments,  shown  his  great  displeasure  with  those  who  do  not 
care  for  the  Christian  Doctrine. 

St.  Francis  Regis  once  gave  a  great  mission  in  the  city  of 
Naples.  Several  nights  before  the  mission  began,  he  went 
through  the  streets  to  every  house.  He  knocked  at 
each  door,  as  he  went  along,  and  when  it  was  opened,  he 
said  :  "  Please,  for  the  love  of  God,  to  come  to  the  sermons 
of  the  mission.'7  In  a  certain  house  there  was  living  a 
very  wicked  woman :  her  name  was  Catharine.  St.  Francis 
knocked  at  the  door  of  Catharine's  house.  When  it  was 
opened,  he  said  :  "  Please,  for  the  love  of  God,  to  come  and 
listen  to  the  word  of  God  during  the  mission."  Catharine 
answered  and  said :  "  No,  I  will  not  go  to  the  mission." 
St.  Francis  left  the  house,  and  went  on  his  way.  The 
next  evening  St.  Francis  came  again  to  Catharine's  house, 
and  knocked  at  the  door.  The  door  was  opened.  u  How  is 
Catharine  ?  "  said  St.  Francis.  u  Catharine  !"  a  voice  an 
swered,  "  Catharine  is  dead!"  "Then,"  said  St.  Francis, 
"  let  us  go  upstairs,  and  see  the  dead  body."  They  all 
went  up  to  a  room  where  a  dead  body  was  laid  on  a  bed. 
It  was  the  dead  body  of  the  wicked  Catharine,  who  only 
the  night  before  had  said,  u  I  will  not  go  to  the  mission." 
They  stood  round  the  dead  body.  St.  Francis  stood  in 
front  of  it,  and  looked  at  the  pale,  lifeless  face.  Then 
he  said,  with  a  loud  voice,  u  0  Catharine  !  Catharine  !  you 
that  would  not  come  to  the  sermon!  tell  me, — in  the  name 
of  God,  I  command  you  to  tell  me, — where  are  you  ? 
where  is  your  soul  ?"  A  moment  passed,  and  the  corpse 
opened  its  mouth.  That  dead  tongue  moved,  and  answered 
in  a  frightful  voice,  "  /  am  in  hell." 

Catharine  had  lived  many  years,  and  committed  many 
dreadful  mortal  sins.  Still  our  dear  Lord  did  not  send 


her  to  hell.  Then  St.  Francis  came  to  her  from  God.  He 
asked  her  to  listen  to  him,  and  be  converted.  She  answered : 
"  No,  I  will  not  listen." 

Another  terrible  example  of  divine  justice  occurred  in 
174:5,  when  St.  Alphonsus  and  his  missionary  priests  were 
preaching  at  Foggia.  One  of  the  priests  went-  through 
the  public  places,  to  call  the  people  to  the  church.  Happen 
ing  to  pass  before  a  tavern,  he  invited  the  drinkers  to 
listen  to  the  word  of  God,  and  take  part  in  the  other 
exercises  of  the  mission.  A  tipsy  fellow,  holding  up  his 
glass,  called  out,  "  My  father,  would  you  like  to  see  what 
is  my  mission  ?"  and  putting  the  glass  to  his  lips,  he 
instantly  dropped  down  dead.  (Life  of  St.  Alphonsus.) 

When  we  hear  the  Christian  Doctrine  explained,  we 
should  listen  with  the  intention  to  profit  by  it.  Our 
dinner,  says  Father  Furniss,  C.  SS.  R.,  does  us  very  little 
good,  unless  we  have  an  appetite  for  it.  So  hearing  God's 
word  in  a  sermon,  instruction,  or  Catechism,  or  when  we 
read  a  good  book,  will  do  us  very  little  good,  unless  we 
have  an  appetite  for  it,  and  a  desire  to  hear  it.  If  we  do 
not  feel  this  desire,  we  should  at  least  wish  for  it,  and 
pray  for  it,  and  it  will  be  given  to  us.  It  is  one  of  the 
seven  gifts  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  called  the  gift  of  "under 

Moreover,  we  must  not  go  to  an  instruction  or  sermon 
through  mere  curiosity,  for  example  :  to  hear  how  some 
body  preaches,  nor  only  because  we  are  obliged  to  go, 
and  would  be  scolded  if  we  were  absent.  We  must  go 
to  hear  the  word  of  God,  because  it  is  able  to  save  our 
souls.  (James  i,  21.) 

In  almost  every  instruction  we  hear  something  recom 
mended  which  we  feel  in  our  hearts  just  suits  us.  This 


is  a  particular  light  which  God  sends  from  heaven  into 
our  hearts.  We  must  then  say  to  ourselves,  Now  I  will 
begin  this  very  day  to  do  that  very  thing  :  "  Be  ye  doers 
of  the  word  of  God,  and  not  hearers  only."  (James  i,  6.) 

When  we  have  eaten  our  dinner,  we  keep  the  food  in 
our  stomach,  to  feed  our  body.  So,  when  we  have  heard 
an  instruction,  we  should  keep  some  of  it  in  our  mind,  to 
think  about  afterward,  amd  feed  our  souls  with  it.  In  the 
stable  of  Bethlehem  there  were  the  infant  Jesus,  Mary  his 
mother,  and  Joseph,  and  the  shepherds.  When  the  shep 
herds  were  gone  away,  Mary,  who  was  full  of  divine 
wisdom,  kept  the  words  of  the  poor  ignorant  shepherds  in 
her  heart,  and  thought  of  them,  and  meditated  on  them. 
(Luke  ii.) 

Again,  when  we  go  to  an  instruction,  we  should  listen 
to  it  with  attention.  The  sin  of  Adam  has  made  our 
minds  very  weak,  and  we  cannot  always  keep  our  atten 
tion  fixed.  But  we  should  not  be  wilfully  distracted. 
Sometimes  people  will  listen  to  any  little  trifle,  instead  of 
listening  to  an  instruction.  There  was  a  great  city  called 
Athens.  The  soldiers  were  on  their  way  to  this  city  to 
destroy  it.  The  people  of  the  city  were  in  great  fear. 
They  met  together  to  think  what  should  be  done  to  save 
the  town.  Amongst  them  was  one  very  wise  man,  called 
Demosthenes,  who  stood  up  and  began  to  speak  to  them. 
The  people  would  not  listen  to  him.  They  talked  and 
made  a  great  noise,  so  that  he  could  not  be  heard.  De 
mosthenes,  therefore,  gave  over  speaking,  and  was  silent 
for  a  few  minutes.'  Then  he  cried  out  to  the  people  that 
he  had  a  story  to  tell  them.  When  they  heard  that  he 
was  going  to  tell  them  a  story,  they  became  very  quiet, 
silent,  and  attentive.  He  began  his  story  :  "  There  were 


two  men,"  he  said,  "  travelling  together.  One  of  them 
had  hired  an  ass  from  the  other.  In  the  middle  of  the 
day  they  stopped.  He  who  had  hired  the  ass  got  off  it. 
As  the  sun  was  very  hot,  he  sat  down  in  the  shadow  of 
the  ass.  'No,'  said  the  other,  t  you  shall  not  sit  down  in 
the  shadow  of  my  ass.  You  hired  my  ass,  but  ,you  did 
not  hire  its  shadow.' r'  When  Demosthenes  had  said  this, 
he  gave  over  speaking.  The  people  called  out  to  him  to 
go  on.  Then  he  said  to  them  :  u  My  good  people,  when  I 
speak  to  you  about  the  shadow  of  an  ass,  you  listen  to  me  ; 
but  when  I  speak  to  you  about  the  safety  of  this  town, 
you  do  not  listen.'7  So,  many  people  will  let  themselves 
be  distracted  by  the  shadow  of  a  fly,  or  any  little  trifle, 
instead  of  listening  to  the  word  of  God.  Hear  what  the 
fishes  did  : — 

You  may  have  heard  how  God  made  an  ass  speak  to 
Balaam,  to  tell  him  that  he  was  doing  wrong.  (Num.  xii.) 
He  was  angry  with  the  ass,  and  beat  its  side  with  a  stick, 
and  the  Lord  opened  the  mouth  of  the  ass,  and  it  said : 
"  What  have  I  done  to  thee  ?  Why  dost  thou  strike  me  ?  " 
Something  like  this  happened  in  times  of  old  : — One  day 
St.  Anthony  was  preaching  in  a  town  called  Rimini.  The 
people  would  not  listen  to  him.  So  he  came  down  from 
the  pulpit,  went  out  of  the  church,  and  walked  till  he 
came  to  the  sea.  He  stood  on  the  sand  of  the  sea -shore, 
and  cried  out  to  the  fishes  in  these  words  :  "  Fishes  of  the 
sea  and  of  the  rivers  !  listen  to  me.  I  wanted  to  preach  to 
the  people,  but  they  would  not  listen  to  me.  So  I  am 
going  to  preach  to  you."  When  he  had  said  these  words, 
an  immense  number  of  fishes  of  all  sizes  came  round  him, 
covering  all  the  sea.  The  little  fishes  came  first.  Behind 
them  were  the  middle-sized  fishes,  and  then  the  great 


fishes.  They  were  in  good  order,  and  very  quiet,  with 
their  heads  out  of  the  water,  turned  toward  the  preacher. 
Then  St.  Anthony  spoke  to  them  in  these  words  :  "  Fishes, 
iny  little  brethren  !  you  ought  to  thank  your  Creator  for 
all  the  good  things  he  has  given  you.  First,  there  is  the 
beautiful  water  in  which  you  live, — the  sea  water  as  well 
as  the  fresh  water,  whichever  you  like  best.  Then  there 
are  the  holes  and  caves  in  the  rocks,  where  you  can  go 
when  a  storm  troubles  the  water.  God  has  made  you  able 
to  swim,  and  given  you  all  that  you  eat,  to  preserve  your 
lives.  In  the  great  Deluge,  when  it  rained  on  the  earth 
for  forty  days  and  forty  nights,  all  the  other  animals  were 
drowned,  and  you  only  were  kept  alive.  When  the 
prophet  Jonas  was  thrown  into  the  sea,  God  gave  him  to 
you,  to  keep  him  alive  for  three  days.  When  the  people 
came  to  Jesus,  and  asked  him  to  pay  the  tribute,  you 
helped  him  to  pay  it.  You  were  the  food  of  Jesus  Christ, 
the  Son  of  God,  before  and  after  his  resurrection !  Now, 
when  you  remember  all  these  great  favors  you  have 
received  from  God,  you  ought  to  bless  him  and  thank 
him,  even  more  than  other  creatures."  When  the  fishes 
heard  these  words,  they  opened  their  mouths,  and  bowed 
their  heads,  and  showed  how  great  was  their  desire  to 
thank  God.  Then  St.  Anthony,  full  of  joy,  cried  out : 
"  Blessed  be  the  great  God,  because  the  fishes  praise  him 
when  men  refuse  to  praise  him."  And  now,  when  the 
people  heard  what  a  wonderful  thing  had  happened  to  the 
fishes,  they  all  went  out  to  see  it.  They  knelt  down  before 
St.  Anthony,  and  asked  him  to  pardon  them,  which  he 
did.  Then  the  saint  turned  round,  gave  his  blessing  to 
the  fishes,  and  sent  them  all  away.  So  Almighty  God 
worked  a  miracle,  to  let  us  see  how  much  he  desires  that 


we  should  listen  to  Ms  holy  word,  which  is  full  of  power. 
(Eccles.  viii.) 

Let  us  be  at  least  as  good  as  the  fishes,  and  listen  to  the 
words  of  life  which  Almighty  God  speaks  to  us.  What 
we  hear  in  an  instruction  is  not  the  word  of  a  man,  but 
the  word  of  God.  "You  received  my  word/7  says  St. 
Paul,  u  not  as  the  word  of  man,  but  as  it  is  indeed,  the 
word  of  God."  (I  Thess.,  ii,  13.)  We  should  always  have 
a  great  love  for  the  Christian  Doctrine,  and  especially  for 
the  book  which  briefly  contains  the  Christian  Doctrine 
in  question  and  answer, — the  Catechism.  One  day  St. 
Teresa  was  asked  by  her  sisters  in  religion  what  book  they 
should  often  read  and  study.  The  great  saint  answered : 
"  The  Catechism  ;  for  this  is  the  book  which  contains  and 
explains  the  law  of  God :  n  that  is,  it  treats,  1,  of  all  the 
truths  we  must  believe ;  2,  of  the  commandments  we  must 
keep 5  and,  3,  of  the  means  of  grace  we  must  use, — that 
is,  the  sacraments  and  prayer, — in  order  to  be  happy  with 
God  forever  in  heaven. 



KENELM  DIGBY,  author  of  the  " .Ages  of  Faith,"  who 
did  so  much  to  awaken  what  was  afterward  the  "  Oxford 
Movement,"  was  led  to  the  Catholic  faith  by  means  of  the 
barber  who  used  to  shave  him  when  he  was  a  member  of 
the  university.  The  barber  began  to  instruct  him  in  the 
broken  conversations  occurring  from  day  to  day.  Then  he 
lent  Mr.  Digby  books,  and  the  barber  thus  became  the 
teacher  of  the  university  man.  Let  us  rest  assured  that 
God  has  given  to  every  good  Catholic  his  vocation,  his 
sphere  of  action,  and  holy  influence,  wherein  he  can  pro 
claim  to  those  around  him  that  faith  which  maketh  wise 
unto  salvation.  Let  no  one  be  a  coward  j  let  every  one 
show  as  much  determination  and  courage  for  the  propa 
gation  of  the  truth  as  its  enemies  evince  for  the  spreading 
of  error. 

Our  women  are  doing  what  they  can ;  and  if  not  always 
as  well  as  we  could  wish,  they  deserve  our  gratitude  for  their 
good  intentions,  and  their  efforts  in  a  right  direction.  But 
our  educated  laymen  are  doing  comparatively  nothing. 
They  seem  to  be  too  much  engrossed  in  the  business  world, 
in  the  world  of  politics,  in  making  or  in  spending  their  for 
tunes,  to  have  time  or  thought  for  the  interests  of  their 
religion.  If  they  had  the  proper  spirit,  and  were  animated 
by  an,  ardent  zeal  for  religion,  they  might,  working  in 
submission  tQ;  and  under  the  direction  of,  the  pastors  of 


the  Church,  do  incalculable  good.  It  is  a  shame  for  them 
that  they  should  allow  their  proper  work  to  be  done  by 
women,  or  not  be  done  at  all. 

The  motives  which  should  induce  us  to  be  zealous  in 
spreading  the  truth,  especially  in  instructing  in  it  the 
little  ones,  are  :  first,  the  great  interest  which  Jesus  Christ 
takes  in  children  ;  second,  the  more  abundant  fruits  reaped 
from  the  care  bestowed  upon  the  young,  and  the  great 
merit  which  is  derived  from  giving  religious  instruction. 

Children  are  the  most  noble  part  of  the  flock  of  Christ. 
For  them  he  has  always  shown  a  particular  love  and  af 
fection.  It  was  to  children  that  he  gave  the  special  honor 
of  being  the  first  to  shed  their  blood  for  his  name's  sake. 
He  has  held  them  up  to  us  as  a  model  of  humility,  which  we 
should  imitate  :  "  Unless  you  become  like  little  children, 
you  shall  not  enter  the  kingdom  of  heaven."  He  wishes 
that  every  one  should  hold  them  in  great  honor :  "  See 
that  you  despise  not  one  of  these  little  ones."  Why  not  ? 
"  For  I  say  to  you,  that  their  angels  always  see  the  face 
of  my  Father  who  is  in  heaven."  (Matt,  xviii,  10.) 

He  wishes  every  one  to  be  on  his  guard,  lest  he  should 
scandalize  a  little  child  :  u  He  that  shall  scandalize  one  of 
these  little  ones  that  believe  in  me,  it  were  better  for  him 
that  a  millstone  should  be  hanged  about  his  neck,  and 
that  he  should  be  drowned  in  the  depth  of  the  sea." 
(Matt,  xviii,  6.)  He  says  the  love,  attention,  and  respect 
paid  to  a  child,  is  paid  to  himself:  "And  Jesus  took  a 
child,  and  said  to  them :  Whosoever  shall  receive  this 
child  in  my  name,  receiveth  me."  (Luke  ix,  48.) 

He  rebuked  those  who  tried  to  prevent  little  children 
from  being  presented  to  him  that  he,  might  bless  them : 
"  And  they  brought  to  him  young  children,  that  he  might 


touch  them.  And  the  disciples  rebuked  those  who  brought 
them;  whom,  when  Jesus  saw,  he  was  much  displeased, 
and  saith  to  them :  Suffer  the  little  ones  to  come  unto  me, 
and  forbid  them  not :  for  of  such  is  the  kingdom  of  God. 
Amen  I  say  to  you,  whosoever  shall  not  receive  the  king 
dom  of  God  as  a  little  child,  shall  not  enter  into  it.  And 
embracing  them,  and  laying  his  hands  upon  them,  he 
blessed  them."  (Matt,  x,  13-16.) 

The  Son  of  God  came  into  the  world  to  redeem  all 
who  were  lost.  But  do  children  profit  by  his  abundant 
redemption  ?  Do  they  draw  from  the  source  of  graces 
that  are  open  to  all  ?  Will  they  be  marked  with  the  seal 
of  divine  adoption,  and  be  nourished  with  his  own  flesh, 
in  the  sacrament  of  his  love  ?  Will  they  be  counted,  in 
the  course  of  their  career,  among  the  number  of  his  faith 
ful  disciples,  or  among  the  enemies  of  his  law?  Will 
they  one  day  be  admitted  into  his  kingdom  ?  Will  they 
be  excluded?  Is  heaven  or  hell  to  be  their  lot  for  all 
eternity  ?  The  fate  of  children  is  in  the  hands  of  their 
natural  guardians,  and  of  those  set  over  them.  If  the 
zeal  of  those  to  whom  their  training  and  education  are 
confided  be  not  active  for  their  salvation,  Jesus  will  lose  in 
them  the  fruit  of  his  sufferings  and  death.  How  many  are 
deprived  forever  of  the  knowledge,  sight,  and  possession 
of  God,  because  they  have  not  received  right  religious 
instruction !  And  who  is  answerable  to  God  and  human 
ity  for  the  loss  of  those  souls,  unless  those  whose  plain 
duty  it  was  to  impart  such  instruction  ? 

If  the  first  years  of  life  are  pure,  they  often  sanctify 
all  the  after-life  5  but  if  the  roots  of  the  tree  are  rotten 
and  dead,  the  branches  will  not  be  more  healthy.  Man 
will  become,  in  his  old  age,  what  religious  education 


made  him  in  his  youth  :  "  A  young  man,  according  to  his 
way,  even  when  he  is  old,  he  will  not  depart  from  it.77 
(Prov.  xxii,  6.)  All  is  a  snare  and  seduction  for  youth. 
If  the  fear  of  God,  the  horror  of  evil,  the  maxims  of 
religion,  are  not  profoundly  engraven  in  the  soul,  what  is 
to  protect  young  people  from  their  passions  ?  What  can 
be  expected  of  a  young  man  who  has  but  seldom  heard 
of  the  happiness  of  virtue,  the  hopes  of  the  future  life, 
and  the  blessings  or  the  woes  of  eternity  ?  Can  we,  know 
ing,  as  we  do,  how  much  Jesus  Christ  loves  children, 
resign  ourselves  to  leaving  them  in  their  misery  ?  "  The 
kings  of  the  earth  have  their  favorites;"  said  St.  Augustine. 
The  favorites  of  Jesus  Christ  are  innocent  souls.  What 
is  more  innocent  than  the  heart  of  a  child  whom  baptism 
has  purified  from  original  stain,  and  who  has  not,  as  yet, 
contracted  the  stain  of  actual  sin  ?  This  heart  is  the 
sanctuary  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  Who  can  tell  with  what 
delight  he  makes  of  it  his  abode  ?  "  My  delicts  are 
to  be  with  the  children  of  men."  Look  at  the  mothers 
who  penetrated  the  crowd  that  surrounded  the  Saviour, 
in  order  to  beg  him  to  bless  their  children.  They  are  at 
first  repulsed  5  but  soon  after,  what  is  their  joy  when  they 
hear  the  good  Master  approve  their  desires,  and  justify 
what  a  zeal,  little  enlightened,  taxed  with  indiscre'tion ! 
Ah !  let  us  understand  the  desires  of  the  Son  of  God. 
"  Suffer,"  says  he  to  us, — "  suffer  little  children  to  come 
to  me."  What !  You  banish  those  who  are  dearest  to 
me  ?  They  who  resemble  them  belong  to  the  kingdom  of 
heaven.  If  you  love  me,  take  care  of  my  sheep,  but 
neglect  not  my  lambs.  "Feed  my  lambs."  "  Despise 
not  one  of  my, little  ones."  "  See  that  ye  condemn  not 
one  of  these  little  ones."  (Matt.  xviii;  10.)  I  regard,  as 


done  to  myself,  all  that  is  done  to  them.  O  Saviour  of 
the  world !  the  desire  to  be  beloved  by  thee,  and  to 
prove  my  love  for  thee,  urges  me  to  devote  myself  to 
the  thorough  instruction  of  children. 

How  great  and  consoling  are  not  the  fruits  of  zeal, 
when  it  has  youth  for  its  object !  What  difficulties  do  we 
not  encounter,  when  we  undertake  to  bring  back  to  God 
persons  advanced  in  age !  Children,  on  the  contrary, 
oppose  but  one  obstacle  to  our  zeal, — levity.  All  we  need 
with  them  is  patience.  Their  souls  are  like  new  earth, 
which  waits  only  culture  to  produce  four-fold.  They  are 
flexible  plants,  which  take  the  form  and  direction  given 
to  them.  Their  hearts,  pure  as  they  are  from  criminal 
affections,  are  susceptible  of  happy  impressions  and  ten 
dencies.  They  believe  in  authority.  A  religious  instinct 
leads  them  to  the  priest  and  the  good  teacher.  They 
adopt  with  confidence  the  faith  and  the  sentiments  of 
those  who  instruct  them.  Oh,  how  easy  to  soften  that 
age,  in  speaking  of  a  God  who  has  made  himself  a  child, 
and  who  died  for  us — to  awaken  the  fear  of  the  Lord, 
compassion  for  those  who  suffer,  gratitude,  divine  love, 
in  souls  predisposed,  by  the  grace  of  baptism,  to  all  the 
Christian  virtues !  Ask  the  most  zealous  pastors,  and  all 
will  tell  you  that  no  part  of  their  ministry  is  more  consol 
ing  than  that  which  is  exercised  for  youth,  because  the 
fruits  are  incomparably  more  abundant.  Although  all  our 
efforts  for  the  sanctification  of  an  old  man,  ever  unfaithful 
to  his  duties,  should  be  crowned  with  success,  they  could 
not  help  his  long  life  being  frightfully  void  of  merits,  and 
a  permanent  revolt  against  heaven.  But,  if  there  be  a 
child  in  question,  our  zeal  sanctifies  his  whole  life  j  we 
deposit  in  his  soul  the  germ  of  all  the  good  that  he  will 


do,  and  we  shall  participate  in  all  the  good  works  with 
which  his  career  will  be  filled.  All  believers  have  come 
out  of  one  single  Abraham.  From  one  child  well  brought 
up  a  whole  generation  of  true  Christians  may  proceed. 
In  the  little  flock  that  surrounds  any  one  of  us,  God  sees, 
perhaps,  elect  souls,  regarding  whom  his  Providence  has 
formed  great  designs, — pious  instructors,  holy  priests,  who 
will  carry  far  the  knowledge^  of  his  name,  and  aid  him 
in  saving  millions  of  souls.  Into  what  astonishment  would 
the  first  catechists  of  a  St.  Vincent  de  Paul,  of  a  Francis 
Xavier,  be  thrown,  had  they  been  told  what  would  become 
of  those  children,  and  what  they  would  one  day  accom 
plish  !  But  even  supposing  that  all  those  confided  to 
us  follow  the  common  way,  we  have  in  them  the  surest 
means  of  renewing  parishes.  To-day  they  receive  the 
movement,  in  fifteen  years  they  will  give  it.  They  will 
transmit  good  principles,  happy  inclinations  to  their  own 
children,  who  will  transmit  them  in  their  turn.  It  is  thus 
that  holy  traditions  are  established,  and  a  chain  of  solid 
virtues  perpetuated :  ages  will  reap  what  we  have  sown 
in  a  few  years.  It  is  by  these  considerations  that  the 
greatest  saints  and  the  finest  geniuses  of  Christianity 
became  so  much  attached  to  the  religious  instruction  of 
youth.  St.  Jerome,  St.  Gregory,  St.  Augustine,  St.  Vin 
cent  Ferrer,  St.  Charles  Borromeo,  St.  Francis  de  Sales, 
St.  Joseph  Calasanctius,  Gerson,  Bellarmin,  Bossuet, 
Fenelon,  M.  Olier,  etc.,  believed  they  could  never  better 
employ  their  time  and  talents  than  in  consecrating  them 
to  the  religious  instruction  of  the  young.  "It  is  con 
sidered  honorable  and  useful  to  educate  the  son  of  a 
monarch,  presumptive  heir  to  his  crown.  .  .  .  But  the 
child  that  I  form  to  virtue, — is  he  not  the  child  of  God, 

TO    SPREAD    THE   TRUTH.  xli 

inheritor  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven  ?  "  (Gerson.)  Have 
we/  always  comprehended  all  the  good  that  we  can  do  to 
children  by  our  humble  functions  ? 

There  is,  indeed,  nothing  more  honorable,  nothing  more 
meritorious,  nothing  which  conducts  to  higher  perfection, 
than  to  instruct  men,  especially  children,  in  their  religious 
duties.  This  instruction  is  a  royal,  apostolic,  angelic,  and 
divine  function.  Royal,  because  the  office  of  a  king  is  to 
protect  his  people  from  danger.  Apostolic,  because  the 
Lord  commissioned  apostles  to  instruct  the  nations,  and, 
as  St.  Jerome  says,  thus  made  them  the  saviours  of  men. 
Angelic,  because  the  angelical  spirits  in  heaven  enlighten, 
purify,  and  perfect  each  other  according  to  their  spheres, 
and  their  earthly  mission  is  to  labor  without  ceasing  for 
the  salvation  of  man.  St.  Peter  Chrysologus  calls  those 
who  instruct  others  in  the  way  of  salvation,  "  the  substi 
tutes  of  angels."  Indeed  their  mission  is  divine  ;  they 
carry  on  the  very  work  of  God  himself.  Everything 
that  Almighty  God  has  done  from  the  creation  of  the 
world,  and  which  he  will  continue  to  do  to  the  end,  has 
been,  and  will  be,  for  the  salvation  of  mankind.  For  this 
he  sent  his  Son  from  heaven,  who  enlightened  the  world 
by  his  doctrine,  and  who  still  continues  to  instruct  his 
people  by  his  chosen  disciples.  Those,  then,  who  direct 
children  in  the  paths  to  heaven,  who  allure  them  from 
vice,  who  form  them  to  virtue,  may  fitly  be  termed 
apostles,  angels,  and  saviours.  Oh !  what  glory  awaits 
those  who  perform  the  office  of  angels,  and  even  of  God 
himself,  in  laboring  for  the  salvation  of  the  souls  of  chil 
dren  !  If  this  employment  is  honorable,  it  is  also  not  less 
meritorious.  What  is  the  religious  instruction  of  children, 
but  conferring  on  a  class  of  our  race,  the  weakest  and  most 


helpless,  with  inconceivable  labor  and  fatigue,  the  great 
est  of  all  blessings  f  For,  while  the  physical  development 
of  the  child  advances  with  age,  it  is  not  so  with  the 
mental :  religious  instruction  alone  can  develop  the  noble 
faculties  of  the  soul.  The  soul  of  a  child  would,  so  to 
speak,  continue  to  live  enshrouded  in  pagan  darkness,  if 
the  teacher  did  not  impart  and  infuse  the  light  of  truth. 
All  the  gold  in  the  world  is  but  dross  in  comparison  with 
true  religious  knowledge. 

Our  Saviour  says :  "  Whosoever  shall  give  to  drink  to 
one  of  these  little  Ones,  even  a  cup  of  cold  water,  shall 
not  lose  his  reward."  (Matt,  x,  42.)  May  we  not  infeV 
that  those  who  bestow  upon  children  the  treasures  of 
divine  knowledge  will  receive  an  exceedingly  great 
reward  ?  If  God  denounces  so  severely  those  who 

scandalize  little  children,  "  But  he  that  shall  scandalize 

/  / 

one  of  these  little  ones,  it  were   better  for  him   that    a 

millstone  were  hanged  about  his  neck,  and  he  were 
drowned  in  the  depth  of  the  sea"  (Matt,  xviii,  6),  what 
recompense  will  those  receive  who  instruct  and  sanctify 
them  I 

Those  who  give  their  efforts  and  means  to  this  object, 
choose  the  surest  way  to  appease  the  anger  of  God,  and  to 
insure  their  own  salvation.  They  choose  the  best  means 
of  attaining  a  high  degree  of  perfection.  Almighty  God 
gives  to  each  one  the  graces  proper  to  his  vocation.  Those, 
therefore,  who  are  devoted  to  the  religious  instruction  of 
children,  must  rest  assured  that  God  will  give  them  extra 
ordinary  graces  to  arrive  at  perfection.  "  Whoever,"  says 
our  Lord,  "  shall  receive  one  such  little  child  in  my  name, 
receiveth  me."  (Matt,  xviii,  5.)  Whosoever,  then,  believes 
that  our  Saviour  will  not  allow  himself  to  be  surpassed  in 

TO   SPREAD   THE   TRUTH.  xliii 

..liberality,  must  also  believe  that  he  will  bestow  his  choicest 
blessings  on  those  who  instruct  children  in  the  knowledge 
of  God  and  the  love  of  virtue. 

What  obligations  have  not  the  "  angels ??  of  children, 
"  who  always  see  the  face  of  the  Father  who  is  in  heaven  " 
(Matt,  xviii,  10),  to  pray  for  these  teachers,  their  dear 
colleagues  and  charitable  substitutes,  who  perform  their 
office,  and  hold  their  place  on  earth  !  "  Believe  me,"  said 
St.  Francis  de  Sales,  "the  angels  of  little  children  love 
with  a  special  love  all  those  who  bring  them  up  in  the  fear 
of  God,  and  who  plant  in  their  tender  souls  holy  devotion." 
The  children  will  pray  for  their  teachers,  and  God  can 
refuse  nothing  to  the  prayers  of  children,  and  their  suppli 
cations  will  ascend  with  the  prayers  of  the  angels. 

To  .be  destitute  of  ardent  zeal  for  the  spiritual  welfare 
of  children,  is  to  see,  with  indifferent  eyes,  the  blood  of 
Jesus  ;  Christ  trodden  under  foot ;  it  is  to  see  the  image 
and  likeness  of  God  lie  in  the  mire,  and  not  care  for  it ; 
it  is  to  despise  the  Blessed  Trinity  :  the  Father,  who  cre 
ated  them  ;  the  Son,  who  redeemed  them  j  the  Holy  Ghost, 
who  sanctified  them  j  it  is  to  belong  to  that  class  of  shep 
herds,  of  whom  the  Lord  commanded  Ezechiel  to  prophesy 
as  follows  :  "  Son  of  man,  prophesy  concerning  the  shep 
herds  of  Israel :  prophesy  and  say  to  the  shepherds  :  Thus 
saith  the  Lord  God :  Wo  to  the  shepherds  of  Israel.  .  .  . 
My  flock  you  did  not  feed.  The  weak  you  have  not 
strengthened  j  and  that  which  was  sick,  you  have  not 
healed ;  that  which  was,  broken,  you  have  not  bound  up  ; 
and  that  which  was  driven  away,  you  have  not  brought 
again ;  neither  have  you  sought  that  which  was  lost.  .  .  . 
And  my  sheep  were  scattered,  because  there  was  no  shep 
herd  :  and  they  became  the  prey  of  all  the  beasts  of  the 


field,  and  were  scattered.  My  sheep  have  wandered  in 
every  mountain,  and  in  every  high  hill :  and  there  was 
none,  I  say,  that  sought  them.  Therefore,  ye  shepherds, 
hear  the  word  of  the  Lord :  Behold,  I  myself  come  up6n 
the  shepherds.  I  will  require  my  flock  at  their  hands." 
(Ezech.  xxxiv,  2-10.)  To  be  destitute  of  this  .zeal  for 
the  religious  instruction  of  our  children,  is  to  hide  the  five 
talents  which  the  Lord  has  given  us,  instead  of  gaining 
other  five  talents.  Surely  the  Lord  will  say  :  "  And  the 
unprofitable  servant,  cast  ye  out  into  the  exterior  darkness. 
There  shall  be  weeping  and  gnashing  of  teeth."  (Matt. 
xxv,  30.) 

What  a  shame  for  us  to  know  that  the  devil,  in  alliance 
with  the  wicked,  is  at  work,  day  and  night,  for  the  ruin 
and  destruction  of  youth,  and  to  be  so  little  concerned 
about  their  eternal  loss ;  just  as  if  what  the  holy  fathers 
say  was  not  true,  that  the  salvation  of  one  soul  is  worth 
more  than  the  whole  visible  world  !  When  has  the  price  of 
the  souls  of  little  children  been  lessened  ?  Ah  !  as  long  as 
the  price  of  the  blood  of  Jesus  Christ  remains  of  an  infinite 
value,  so  long  the  price  of  souls  will  remain  of  a  like  value  ! 
Heaven  and  earth  will  pass  away,  but  this  truth  will  not. 
The  devil  knows  and  understands  it  but  too  well.  He 
delights  in  us  if  we  are  hirelings,  because  we  have  no 
care  for  the  sheep,  and  see  the  wolf  coming,  and  leave  the 
sheep  and  fly.  (John  x,  12.) 

On  the  day  of  judgment,  those  who  have  neglected 
this  great  duty  will  be  confounded  by  that  poor  man  of 
whom  we  read,  in  the  life  of  St.  Francis  de  Sales,  as  fol 
lows  :  "  One  day,  this  holy  and  zealous  pastor,  on  a  visit  of 
his  diocese,  had  reached  the  top  of  one  of  those  dreadful 
mountains,  overwhelmed  with  fatigue  and  cold,  his  hands 


and  feet  completely  benumbed,  in  order  to  visit  a  single 
parish  in  that  dreary  situation.  While  he  was  viewing, 
with  astonishment,  those  immense  blocks  of  ice,  of  an  un 
common  thickness,  the  inhabitants,  who  had  approached  to 
meet  him,  related  that  some  days  before  a  shepherd,  run 
ning  after  a  strayed  sheep,  had  fallen  into  one  of  these 
tremendous  precipices.  They  added  that  his  fate  would 
never  have  been  known  if  his  companion,  who  was  in 
search  of  him,  had  not  discovered  his  hat  on  the  edge  of 
the  precipice.  The  poor  man,  therefore,  imagined  that 
the  shepherd  might  be  still  relieved,  or,  if  he  should  have 
perished,  that  he  might  be  honored  with  a  Christian 

"  With  this  view  he  descended,  by  the  means  of  ropes, 
this  icy  precipice,  whence  he  was  drawn  up,  pierced 
through  with  cold,  and  holding  in  his  arms  his  companion, 
who  was  dead,  and  almost  frozen  into  a  block  of  ice. 
Francis,  hearing  this  account,  turned  to  his  attendants, 
who  were  disheartened  with  the  extreme  fatigues  which 
they  had  every  day  to  encounter,  and  availing  himself  of 
this  circumstance  to  encourage  them,  he  said  :  l  Some 
persons  imagine  that  we  do  too  much,  and  we  certainly 
do  far  less  than  these  poor  people.  You  have  heard  in 
what  manner  one  has  lost  his  life  in  an  attempt  to  find  a 
strayed  animal ;  ^and  how  another  has  exposed  himself  to 
the  danger  of  perishing,  in  order  to  procure  for  his  friend 
a  burial,  which,  under  these  circumstances,  might  have 
been  dispensed  with.  These  examples  speak  to  us  in 
forcible  language  ;  by  this  charity  we  are  confounded,  we 
who  perform  much  less  for  the  salvation  of  souls  intrusted 
to  our  care,  than  those  poor  people  do  for  the  security  of 
animals  confided  to  their  charge.'  Then  the  holy  prelate 


heaved  a  deep  sigh,  saying :  'My  God,  what  a  beautiful 
lesson  for  bishops  and  pastors  !  This  poor  shepherd  has 
sacrificed  his  .life  to  save  a  strayed  sheep,  and  I,  alas! 
have  so  little  zeal  for. the  salvation  of  souls.  The  least 
obstacle  suffices  to  deter  me,  and  makes  me  calculate  every 
step  and.Jrouble.  Great  God,  give  me  true  zeal,  and  the 
genuine  'spirit  of  a  good  shepherd  !  Ah,  how  many  shep 
herds  of  souls  will  not  this  herdsman  judge!'"  Alas! 
how  just  and  how  true  is  this  remark !  If  we  saw  our 
very  enemies  surrounded  by  fire,  we  would  think  of  means 
to  rescue  them  from  the  danger ;  and  now  we  see  thou 
sands  of  little  children,  redeemed  at  the  price  of  the 
blood  of  Jesus  Christ,  on  the  point  of  losing  their  faith, 
and  with  it  their  souls ;  and  shall  we  be  less  concerned 
and  less  active  for  these  images  and  likenesses  of  God, 
than  for  their  frames,  their  bodies  1 

We  hear  a  little  child  /weeping,  and  we  at  once  try  to 
console  it ;  we  hear  a  little  dog  whining  at  the  door,  and 
we  open  it ;  a  poor  beggar  asks  for  a  piece  of  bread, 
and  we  give  it  ;  and  we  hear  the  mother  of  our  Catholic 
children,  the  Catholic  Church,  cry  in  lamentable  accents, 
"  Let  my  little  ones  have  the  bread  of  life, — a  thorough 
religious  instruction,"  and  shall  we  not  heed  her  voice  ? 
We  hear  Jesus  Christ  cry,  u  Suffer  the  little  ones  to  come 
unto  me,"  by  means  of  solid  instruction  ;  we  see  him  weep 
over  Jerusalem,  over  the  loss  of  so  many  Catholic  chil 
dren,  ami  we  hear  him  say,  "Weep  not  over  me,  but  for 
your  children  ;  "  and  shall  neither  his  voice  nor  his  tears 
make  any  impression  ?  Shall  we  say  with  the  man  in  the 
Gospel :  "  Trouble  me  not,  the  door  (of  our  heart)  is  now 
shut :  I  cannot  rise  and  give  thee "  ?  (Luke  xi.)  If  an 
ass,  says  our  Lord,  fall  into  a  pit,  you  will  pull  him  out, 

TO   SPREAD   THE    TRUTH.  xlvil 

even  on  the  Sabbath-day;  and  an  innocent  soul,  nay, 
thousands  of  innocent  children,  fall  away  from  me,  and 
pass  over  to  the  army  of  the  apostate  angels,  and  become 
my  and  your  adversaries- — and  wiH  you  not  care  ?  What 
cruelty,  what  hardness  of  heart,  what  great  impiety ! 
'Truly  the  curses  and  maledictions  of  all  those  who  led  a 
bad  life,  and  were  damned  for  want  of  Christian  "instruc 
tion,  which  we  neglected  to  give  them,  will,  fall  upon  us  ! 
What  shall  we  answer  ?  "  And  he  was  silent.77  *  (Matt, 

*  Pope  Paul  V,  in  order  more  diligently  to  encourage  the  faithful  to 
teach  and  to  learn  Christian  Doctrine,  granted  the  following  indul 
gences  : 

J..  The  Indulgence  of  one  hundred  days  to  all  teachers,  fathers  and 
mothers,  every  time  they  instruct  the  children  and  domestics  in  the 
Christian  Doctrine. 

2.  The  Indulgence  of  one  hundred  days  to  all  the  faithful,  every  time 
they/  employ  themselves  for  half  an  hour  in  teaching  or  learning  the 
Christian  Doctrine. 

To  these  Indulgences  was  added  by  Clement  XTI: 

3.  The  Plenary  Indulgence,  after  confession  and  copamunion,  on  the 
Feast  of  the  Nativity  of  Our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  on  Easter  Sunday,  and 
on  the.  Feast  of  the  holy  Apostles,  SS.  Peter  and  Paul,  to  those  who  have 
the  pious  custom  of  assisting  at,  or  teaching,  the  Christian  Doctrine. 






MANY  years  ago  a  strange  sight,  a  singular  contrast, 
might  have  been  witnessed  in  the  great  city  of  Babylon. 
Throughout  the  streets  and  public  places  of  that  populous 
city  the  inhabitants  were  feasting,  singing,  and  rejoicing. 
Wherever  the  eye  turned,  it  beheld  signs  of  triumph  and 
gladness.  But  in  the  midst  of  this  rejoicing  there  is  one 
spot  where  sadness  reigns.  Upon  the  banks  of  Babylon's 
streams  a  vast  multitude  is  assembled.  There  are  strong 
men  borne  down  by  sorrow  j  there  are  feeble  women 
pining  away  with  grief;  there  are  old  men  whose  hoary 
heads  are  bowed  down  with  sadness ;  little  children  lan 
guishing  in  pain.  The  faces  of  all  are  pallid,  their  eyes 
filled  with  tears.  They  rest  their  wearied  limbs  beneath 
the  shade  of  the  mournful  cypress.  Their  harps,  their 
musical  instruments,  hang  sadly  upon  the  branches  of  the 
willow.  No  hand  is  raised  to  touch  them,  no  finger  evokes 
sweet  music  from  their  chords.  They  are  silent ;  they 
are  neglected.  There  naught  is  heard  save  the  sighs,  the 
moans,  the  sobs  of  the  multitude,  as  they  blend  confusedly 

4  WHY   WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD. 

with  the  murmur,  the  dash  of  the  stream.  Naught  is  seen 
save  the  tears  that  trickle  down  from  their  eyelids,  and 
blend  with  the  flood.  Let  us  draw  near  those  poor  unhappy 
creatures,  and  ask  them  the  cause  of  their  tears.  They 
weep,  they  are  heart-broken,  because  they  are  exiles ; 
because  they  are  far,  far  away  from  their  home,  their 

native  land.     This  alone  is  the  cause  of  their  tears. 

,  / 

How  mournful  are  the  days  of  exile  !  How  sweet  it  is 
to  breathe  once  more  the  air  of  our  native  land !  The 
bread  of  the  stranger,  like  the  bread  of  the  wicked,  is 
bitter  to  the  heart.  The  streams  of  a  foreign  land  may 
murmur  in  soothing  tones,  but  they  speak  an  unknown 
tongue.  The  birds  in  foreign  lands  may  sing  sweetly,  but 
they  want  one  melodious  note :  they  do  not  sing  to  us  of 
home.  The  scenes  in  other  lands  may  be  wildly  fair,  but 
they  have  not  that  sweet,  that  soothing  charm,  which 
endears  every  object  in  our  native  land.  We  are  poor 
exiles  here  below,  far  away  from  heaven,  our  true  home ; 
we,  therefore,  constantly  suffer  the  pain  of  exile.  We  are 
never  satisfied  in  this  world.  We  always  crave  for  some 
thing  more,  something  higher,  something  better.  Whence 
is  this  continual  restlessness  which  haunts  us  through  life, 
and  even  pursues  us  to  the  grave  ?  It  is  the  home-sick 
ness  of  the  soul.  It  is  the  soul's  craving  after  a  Good  that 
is  better  and  more  excellent  than  the  soul  herself  is. 

King  Solomon,  in  search  after  happiness,  devoted  his 
mind  to  the  gratification  of  every  desire  of  his  heart :  "I 
said  in  my  heart,  I  will  go,  and  abound  with  delights  and  en 
joy  good  things.  I  made  me  great  works,  I  built  me  houseSj 
and  planted  vineyards.  I  made  gardens  and  orchards, 
and  set  them  with  trees  of  all  kinds,  and  I  made  me 
ponds  of  water,  to  water  therewith  the  wood  of  the  young 


trees.  I  got  me  men-servants  and  maid-servants,  and  had 
a  great  family  :  and  herds  of  oxen,  and  great  flocks  of  sheep, 
above  all  that  were  before  me  in  Jerusalem :  I  heaped 
together  for  myself  silver  and  gold,  and  the  wealth  of 
kings  and  provinces  :  I  made  me  singing-men  and  singing- 
women,  and  the  delights  of  the  sons  of  men :  cups  and  _ 
vessels  to  serve  to  pour  out  wine :  and  I  surpassed  in 
riches  all  that  were  before  me  in  Jerusalem :  my  wisdom 
also  remained  with  me.  And  whatsoever  my  eyes  desired, 
I  refused  them  not :  and  I  withheld  not  my  heart  from 
enjoying  every  pleasure  :  and  esteemed  this  my  portion,  to 
make  use  of  my  own  labor." 

After  such  ample  enjoyment  of  all  earthly  pleasures, 
might  we  not  think  that  Solomon  was  happy  indeed  ? 
Nevertheless,  he  tells  us  that  his  heart  was  not  satisfied, 
and  that  he  found  himself  more  miserable  than  before. 
"  And  when  I  turned  myself,"  he  says,  "  to  all  the  works 
which  my  hands  had  wrought,  and  to  the  labors  wherein 
I  had  labored  in  vain,  I  saw  in  all  things  vanity  and  vex 
ation  of  mind,  and  that  nothing  was  lasting  under  the 
sun."  (Eccles.  ii,  11.) 

What  happened  to  Solomon  happens  still,  in  one  shape 
or  form,  to  every  man.  Give  to  the  man,  whose  dream, 
whose  waking  thought,  day  and  night,  is  to  grow  rich, 
to  live  in  splendor  and  luxury  ;  whose  life  is  spent  in  plan 
ning,  and  thinking^  and  toiling, — give  all  the  kingdoms  of 
the  earth,  all  the  gold  of  the  mountains,  all  the  pearls  of 
the  ocean.  Give  him  the  desire  of  his  heart.  Will  he  be 
happy  1  Will  his  heart  be  at  rest  ?  He  will  find  that 
riches  are  like  thorns — that  they  only  wound  and  burn. 
They  seem  sweet,  when  beheld  at  a  distance  ;  but  indulge 
in  them,  and  at  once  you  taste  their  bitterness.  All  the 

6  WHY   WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD. 

goods  and  pleasures  of  this  world  are  like  a  fisher's  hook. 
The  fish  is  glad  while  it  swallows  the  bait,  and  spies  not 
the  hook ;  ^ut  no  sooner  has  the  fisherman  drawn  up  his 
line,  than  it  is  tormented  within,  and  soon  after  comes  to 
destruction  from  the  very  bait  in  which  it  so  much 
rejoiced.  So  it  is  with  all  those  who  esteem  themselves 
happy  in  their  temporal  possessions.  In  their  comforts 
and  honors  they  have  swallowed  a  hook.  But  a  time  will 
come  when  they  shall  experience  the  greatness  of  the 
torment  from  which  they  expected  unalloyed  delight. 

Now,  why  is  it  that  the  riches  and  pleasures  of  this 
world  cannot  make  us  happy  ?  It  is  because  the  soul  was 
not  created  by  and  for  them,  but  by  God  for  himself.  It 
is  God  who  made  our  heart,  and  he  made  it  for  himself. 
When  man  first  came  forth  from  the  hand  of  God,  his  heart 
turned  to  God  naturally,  and  he  loved  creatures  only  as 
loving  keepsakes  of  God.  But  sin  and  death  came  into 
the  world.  The  heart  of  man  was  defiled  and  degraded. 
He  turned  away  from  the  pure  and  holy  love  of  God,  and 
sought  for  love  and  happiness  amid  creatures.  But  our 
heart  seeks  in  vain  among  creatures.  Our  heart  is  small 
indeed,  but  its  love  is  infinite.  It  can  find  rest  only  in 
God.  Whatever  we  love  out  of  God  brings  only  pain  and 
bitter  disappointment. 

A  thing  is  made  better  only  by  that  which  is  better 
than  the  thing  itself.  Inferior  beings  can  never  make 
superior  beings  better.  The  soul,  being  immortal,  is 
superior  to  all  earthly  things.  Earthly  things,  then,  c^n- 
notmake  the  soul  better.  God  alone  is  the  souPs  supreme 
goodness  and  happiness.  He  who  possesses  God  is  at 
rest.  The  more  closely  we  are  united  with  God  in  this- 
life,  the  more  contentment  of  mind,  and  the  greater 

WHY  WE   ARE   CT   THIS   WORLD.  7 

happiness  of  soul,  shall  we  enjoy.     For  this  reason,  St. 
Francis  of  Assisium  used  to  exclaim : 

"What  to  me  are  earthly  treasures, 
Flashing  gems  and  gleaming  gold  ? 
Gems  and  gold  heal  not  the  heartache, 
Gleam  in  vain  where  love  grows  cold. 
Thou,  dear  Lord,  art  my  heart's  treasure, 
Thy  pure  love  is  all  I  prize  ; 
Thou  hast  boundless  wealth  unfailing 
In  the  home  beyond  the  skies." 

St.  Teresa,  too,  would  often  exclaim : 

"Earthly  joys  soon  end  in  sorrow, 
Pleasure  brings  but  grief  and  pain  ; 
Beauty's  bloom  is  frail  and  fleeting, 
Darkness  and  the  grave  remain  ! 
Thy  sweet  smile,  dear  Lord,  brings  gladness, 
Thy  love's  sweetness  ne'er  can  cloy  ; 
Thy  immortal,  dazzling  beauty 
Fills  all  heaven  with  endless  joy." 

Certainly,  true  contentment  is  that  which  is  found  in 
the  Creator,  and  not  that  which  is  found  in  the  creature, — 
a  contentment  which  no  man  can  take  from  the  soul,  and 
in  comparison  with  which  all  other  joy  is  sadness,  all 
pleasure  sorrow,  all  sweetness  bitter,  all  beauty  ugliness, 
all  delight  affliction.  Hence  it  is  that  St.  Augustine,  who 
had  tasted  all  pleasure,  exclaimed : 

"  Earthly  fame  dies  with  its  echo, 
Earthly  love  but  half  reveals 
Life's  dread  meaning,  man's  deep  blindness, 
And  the  fate  that  death  conceals. 
Thou,  dear  Lord,  art  all  my  glory — 
Praised  by  thee,  I  shall  be  blest : 
In  thy  wisdom's  cloudless  splendors 
Shall  my  yearning  soul  find  rest." 

Ah  !  we  are  poor  exiles  here  below.  God  created  us,  and 
he  created  us  for  himself;  and  until  we  can  enjoy  God,  and 


see  ^him  face  to  face,  we  can  never  find  true  rest.     There 

H  always  a  void  in  our  heart, — a  void  which  cannot  be 

filled  by  father  or  mother,   by  brother   or  sister,  or  our 

dearest  friend:    it  can  be  filled  by  God  alone.     Hence 

the  first  and  most  important  question  in  the  Catechism  is  .* 

1,  What  is  most  necessary  for  us  to  know  and  to  believe  1 

And  the  answer  is  :  It  is  most  necessary  for  us  to  know 

and  to  believe  that  there  is  a  God,  who  rewards  the  good 

and  punishes  the  wicked. 

Our  future  and  true  home  is  heaven.  To  go  to  heaven, 
we  must  know  the  way  that  leads  to  it.  Now,  the  begin- 
ing  of  the  way  to  heaven  is  the  knowledge  of  God.  u  For 
he  that  cometh  to  God  must  believe  that  he  is,  and  is  a 
rewarder  of  those  that  seek  him."  (Heb.  xi,  6.)  "  And 
this  is  life  everlasting,"  says  our  Saviour,  "  that  they 
may  know  thee,  the  only  true  God,  and  Jesus  Christ, 
whom  thou  hast  sent."  (John  xvii,  3.)  "  Without  this 
faith  it  is  impossible  to  please  God."  (Heb.  xi,  6.)  But 
as  without  this  faith  man  cannot  please  God  and  be  saved, 
his  Creator  has  made  faith  easy  for  him. 

Man  is  born  a  believing  creature,  and  cannot,  if  he 
would,  destroy  altogether  this  noble  attribute  of  his  nature. 
If  he  is  not  taught,  and  will  not  accept,  a  belief  in  the 
living  and  uncreated  God,  he  will  create  and  worship 
some  other  god  in  his  stead.  He  cannot  rest  on  mere 
negation.  There  never  has  been  a  real,  absolute  un 
believer.  All  the  Gentile  nations  of  the  past  have  been 
religious  people  ;  all  the  pagan  powers  of  the  present  are 
also  believers.  There  never  has  been  a  nation  without 
faith,  without  an  altar,  without  a  sacrifice.  When 
Columbus  discovered  America,  he  found  that  the  Indians 
had  their  creed,  though  of  a  vague  and  simple  nature. 

WHY  WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD.  9 

They  believed  in  one  supreme  being,  inhabiting  the  sky, 
who  was  immortal,  almighty,  and  invisible.  Every  family 
had  a  house  set  apart,  as  a  temple  to  this  deity.  The 
natives  had  an  idea  of  a  place  of  reward,  to  which  the 
spirits  of  good  men  repaired  after  death,  where  they  were 
reunited  to  the  spirits  of  those  whom  they  had  most  loved 
during  life,  and  to  all  their  ancestors.  Here  they  enjoyed, 
uninterruptedly  and  in  perfection,  those  pleasures  which 
constituted  their  felicity  on  earth.  (Irving's  "  Columbus," 
vol.  i.)  "  It  is  only  the  fool)  the  impious  man,  that  says 
in  his  heart,  There  is  no  God."  (Ps.  xiii,  1.)  He  says  so  "  in 
his  heart,"  says  Holy  Writ  j  he  says  not  so  in  his  head, 
because  he  knows  better.  There  are  moments  when,  in 
spite  of  himself,  he  returns  to  better  sentiments.  Let  him 
be  in  imminent  danger  of  death,  or  of  a  considerable  loss 
of  fortune,  and  how  quickly,  on  such  occasions,  he  lays 
aside  the  mask  of  infidelity  !  He  straightway  makes  his 
profession  of  faith  in  an  Almighty  God ;  he  cries  out : 
"Lord!  save  me;  I  am  perishing ;  Lord!  have  mercy 
on  me !"  The  famous  Volney  was  once  on  a  voyage  with 
some  of  his  friends  off  the  coast  of  Maryland.  All  at 
once  a  great  storm  arose,  and  the  little  bark,  which  bore 
the  flower  of  the  unbelievers  of  both  hemispheres,  ap 
peared  twenty  times  on  the  point  of  being  lost.  In  this 
imminent  danger  every  one  began  to  pray.  M.  de  Volney 
himself  snatched  a  rosary  from  a  good  woman  near  him, 
and  began  to  recite  Hail  Marys  with  edifying  fervor,  nor 
ceased  till  the  danger  was  over.  When  the  storm  had 
passed,  some  one  said  to  him,  in  a  tone  of  good-natured 
raillery:  u My  dear  sir,  it  seems  to  me  that  you  were 
praying  just  now.  To  whom  did  you  address  yourself, 
since  you  maintain  that  there  is  no  God?"  "Ah!  my 

10  WHY  WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD. 

friend,"  replied  the  philosopher,  all  ashamed,  u  one  can  be 
a  sceptic  in  his  study,  but  not  at  sea  in  a  storm."  (NocJ, 
"  Catech.  de  Rodez,"  i,  73.) 

A  certain  innkeeper  had  learned,  in  bad  company,  all  sorts 
of  impiety.  In  his  wickedness  he  even  went  so  far  as  to 
say  that  he  did  not  believe  in  God.  One  night  he  was 
roused  by  the  cry  of  "  Fire !  fire  !"  His  house  was  on 
fire.  No  sooner  had  he  perceived  the  dreadful  havoc 
going  on  than  he  cried,  with  clasped  hands  :  "  My  God  ! 
O  my  God !  God  Almighty  !  God  of  grace  and  mercy  ! 
have  pity  on  me  and  help  me  !"  Here  he  was  suddenly 
stopped  by  one  of  his  neighbors  :  "  How !  wretch,  you 
have  been  denying  and  blaspheming  God  all  the  evening, 
and  you  would  have  him  come  now  to  your  assistance !" 
(Schmid  and  Belet,  "  Cat.  Hist.,"  i,  43.) 

From  these  examples  it  is  clear  that  the  mouth  of  the 
infidel  belies  his  own  heart.  That  there  is  one  God,  who 
made  all  things,  and  who  rewards  the  good  and  punishes 
the  wicked,  is  the  first  and  most  necessary  truth  for  us  to 
know  and  to  believe, — a  truth  to  which  no  reflecting  man 
can  shut  his  mind  :  it  is  so  deeply  impressed  on  the  mind  of 
man,  that  to  banish  it  altogether  is  impossible.  Hence  the 
Vatican  Council  says :  "  Therefore,  if  any  one  shall  deny 
one  true  God,  Creator  and  Lord  of  things  visible  and 
invisible,  or  who  shall  not  be  ashamed  to  affirm  that,  ex 
cept  matter,  nothing  exists,  or  shall  say  that  the  substance 
and  essence  of  God  and  of  all  things  is  one  and  the  same, 
let  him  be  accursed."  (Vatic.  Coun.  I,  Canons  1,  2,  3.) 

2.  Who  is  good  before  God  ? 

Those  only  are  good  before  God  icho  do  liis  holy  will. 

This  God  gave  us  to  understand,  in  express  terms,  when 
he  said  to  Adam :  "  And  of  the  tree  of  knowledge  of 

WHY   WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD.  11 

good  and  evil,  thou  shalt  not  eat.  For,  in  what  day  soever 
thou  slialt  eat  of  it,  thou  shalt  die  the  death."  (Gen.  ii,  17.) 

By  this  commandment  man  was  clearly  given  to  under 
stand  that  the  continuation  of  his  happiness,  for  time  and 
eternity,  depended  upon  his  obedience  to  the  will  of  God. 
To  be  free  from  irregular  affections  and  disorderly  passions, 
and  to  transmit  his  happiness  to  his  posterity,  was  entirely 
ic  his  power.  If  he  made  a  right  use  of  his  liberty,  by 
always  following  the  law  of  God  j  if  he  preserved  un 
sullied  the  image  and  likeness  of  his  Creator  and  heavenly 
Father;  if,  in  fine,  he  made  a  proper  use  of  the  creatures 
confided  to  his  care,  he  would  receive  the  crown  of  life 
everlasting,  as  a  reward  for  his  fidelity.  But  if  he  swerved, 
even  for  a  moment,  from  this  loving  will  of  God,  he  would 
subject  himself  to  the  law  of  God's  justice,  which  would 
not  fail  to  execute  the  threatened  punishment. 

But  did  God,  perhaps,  afterward,  in  consideration  of 
the  Redemption,  lay  down  other  and  easier  conditions 
for  man's  happiness  and  salvation  ?  No.  He  did  not 
change  these  conditions  in  the  least.  Man's  happiness 
still  depended  on  his  obedience  to  the  divine  will.  "  Now 
if  thou  wilt  hear  the  voice  of  the  Lord  thy  God,  to  do 
and  keep  all  his  commandments,  the  Lord  thy  God  will  make 
thee  higher  than  all  the  nations  of  the  earth,  and  all  these 
blessings  shall  come  unto  thee,  and  overtake  thee :  yet  so 
if  thou  hear  his  precepts."  (Deut.  xxviii,  1,  2.)  And  our 
divine  Saviour  says :  "You  are  my  friends,  if  you  do  the 
things  that  I  command  you."  (John  xv,  15.)  He  himself 
gave  the  example,  having  been  obedient  even  unto  the 
death  of  the  cross  j  thereby  teaching  all  men  that  their 
happiness  and  salvation  depend  on  their  constant  obedience 
to  the  will  of  their  heavenly  Father,  All  men,  without 

12  WHY   WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD. 

exception,  were  made  by  God  to  be  happy  with  him   for 
eVer  in  heaven,  on  this   one   condition :    "  He  that  doth 
the  will  of  my  Father  who  is  in  heaven,  he  shall  enter 
the  kingdom  of  heaven.'7  (Matt,  vii,  21.) 

3.  What  will  be  the  reward  of  the  good? 

The  reward  of  the  good  will  be  to  enjoy  God  forever  in 

God  says:  "lam  thy  reward  exceeding  great."  (Gen. 
xv?  1.)  Even  in  this  life,  the  reward  of  those  who  do  the 
will  of  God  is  very  great.  It  was  for  his  obedience  to 
the  will  of  God  that  Abel  obtained  from  the  Lord  the 
testimony  that  he  was  just ;  that  Henoch  was  translated 
by  God,  in  order  that  he  should  not  see  death.  On  account 
of  his  obedience  to  the  will  of  God,  Noe  and  his  family 
were  saved  from  the  deluge  j  Abraham  became  the  father 
of  many  nations  ;  Joseph  was  raised  to  the  highest  dignity 
at  the  court  of  the  King  of  Egypt.  For  the  same  reason 
Moses  became  the  great  servant,  prophet,  and  lawgiver  of 
the  land,  and  the  great  worker  of  miracles  with  the  people 
of  God.  Obedience  to  the  will  of  God  was,  for  the  Jews, 
at  all  times,  an  impregnable  rampart  against  all  their  e'ne- 
mies  5  it  turned  a  Saul,  a  persecutor  of  the  Church,  into  a 
Paul,  the  apostle  of  the  Gentiles  f  it  turned  the  early 
Christians  into  martyrs — for  martyrdom  does  not  consist 
in  suffering  and  dying  for  the  faith  j  it  consists,  rather,  in 
the  conformity  of  the  martyr's  will  to  the  divine  will, 
which  requires  such  a  kind  of  death,  and  not  another. 
Nay,  Jesus  Christ  has  declared  that  it  is  by  obedience  to  the 
will  of  his  heavenly  Father  that  every  one  becomes  his 
brother,  his  sister,  and  even  his  mother ;  "  Whosoever," 
he  says,  "  shall  do  the  will  of  my  Father  who  is  in  heaven, 
he  is  my  brother,  and , sister,  and  mother."  (Matt,  xii,  50.) 

WHY  WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD.  13 

But  in  the  world  to  come,  in  heaven,  God  is  the  reward 
of  the  obedient,  in  a  manner  altogether  incomprehensible. 
He  is  an  infinite  ocean  of  happiness.  In  this  ocean  of 
happiness  the  saints  live  for  ever  and  ever.  They  are 
penetrated  with  God's  own  happiness  more  than  iron  can 
be  penetrated  with  fire  ;  and  therefore,  "Eye  hath  not  seen, 
nor  ear  heard,  neither  hath  it  entered  into  the  heart  of  man, 
what  things  God  hath  prepared  for  them  that  love  him.'7 
(1  Cor.  ii,  9.) 

4.  What  will  be  the  punishment  of  the  wicked  ? 

The  wicked  will  suffer  the  eternal  torments  of  hell. 

Man,  when  leading  a  life  contrary  to  God's  will,  is  alto 
gether  out  of  his  place.  A  tool  that  no  longer  corresponds 
to  the  end  for  which  it  was  made,  is  cast  away  ;  a  wheel 
that  prevents  others  from  working,  is  taken  out  and 
replaced  by  another ;  a  limb  in  the  body  which  becomes 
burdensome,  and  endangers  the  functions  and  life  of  the 
others,  is  cut  off  and  thrown  away  ;  a  servant  who  no  longer 
does  his  master's  will,  is  discharged ;  a  rebellious  citizen, 
violating  the  laws  of  the  state,  is  put  into  prison  j  a  child 
in  unreasonable  opposition  to  his  parents  is  disinherited. 
Thus  men  naturally  hate  and  reject  what  is  unreasonable 
or  useless,  or  opposed  to,  and  destructive  of,  good  order, 
whether  natural  or  moral.  What  more  natural,  then,  than 
that  the  Lord  of  heaven  and  earth,  the  author  of  good 
sense  and  of  good  order,  should  bear  an  implacable  hatred 
to  disobedience  to  his  holy  will? 

The  man  in  opposition  to  the  will  of  God  suffers  as  many 
pangs  as  a  limb  which  has  been  dislocated  j  he  is  continually 
tormented  by  evil  spirits,  who  have  power  over  a  soul  that 
is  out  of  its  proper  sphere  of  action  ;  he  is  no  longer  under 
the  protection  of  God,  since  he  has  withdrawn  from  his 

14  WHY   WE   ARE    IN   THIS   WOELD. 

will  the  rule  for  man's  guidance,  and  has  voluntarily  left 
his  watchful  providence.  God  sent  Jonas  the  prophet  to 
Ninive,  and  he  wished  to  go  to  Tarsus.  He  was  buffeted 
by  the  tempest,  cast  into  the  sea,  and  swallowed  by  a  mon 
ster  of  the  deep  !  Behold  what  shall  come  upon  those  who 
abandon  God's  will,  to  follow  their  own  passions  and  in 
clinations  !  They  shall  be  tossed,  like  Jonas,  by  continual 
tempests  ;  they  will  remain  like  one  in  a  lethargy,  in  the 
hold  of  their  vessels,  unconscious  of  sickness  or  danger, 
until  they  perish  in  the  stormy  sea,  and  are  swallowed  up 
in  hell:  "Know  thou  and  see  that  it  is  a  bitter  and 
fearful  thing  for  thee  to  have  left  the  Lord  thy  God,  when 
he  desired  to  lead  thee  in  the  way  of  salvation,  and  that 
my  fear  is  not  with  thee,  saith  the  Lord  God  of  hosts." 

God  grants  to  the  devil  great  power  over  the  -disobe'di- 
ent.  As  the  Lord  permitted  a  lion  to  kill  a  prophet  in 
Juda,  in  punishment  for  his  disobedience  to  the  voice  of  the 
Lord,  so  he  permits  the  infernal  lion  to  assai}  the  proud 
and  the  disobedient  everywhere  with  the  vilest  tempta 
tions,  which  they  feel  themselves  too  weak  to  resist,  and 
thus  fall  a  prey  to  his  rage.  Unless  they  repent  soon,  like 
Jonas,  of  their  sin  of  idolatry,  as  it  were,  they  will  not  be 
saved,  as  was  the  prophet,  but  will  perish  in  the  waves  of 
temptations,  and  sink  into  the  fathomless  abyss  of  hell. 
And  even  in  this  world  sin  becomes  its  own  punishment. 
It  destroys  health,  peace  of  mind,  good-will  to  men,  ruins 
the  body,  and  tortures  the  soul  j  in  a  word,  makes  life,  that 
God  certainly  did  not  will  to  be  unhappy,  the  greatest 
misery  to  its  possessor. 

Disobedience  to  God's  will  turned  the  rebellious  angels 
out  of  heaven  j  it  turned  our  first  parents  out  of  paradise  ; 
it  made  Cain  a  vagabond  and  a  fugitive  on  earth  j  it 

WHY  WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD.  15 

drowned  the  human  race  in  the  waters  of  the  Deluge ;  it 
brought  destruction  upon  the  inhabitants  of  Sodom  and 
Gomorrha.  Disobedience  to  the  will  of  God  led  the  Jews 
often  into  captivity ;  it  drowned  Pharao  and  all  his  host 
in  the  Red  Sea:  it  turned  Nabuchodonosor  into  a  wild 

'  - 

beast ;  it  laid  the  city  of  Jerusalem  in  ashes  ;  it  has  ruined, 
and  will  still  ruin,  whole  nations,  empires,  and  kingdoms ; 
it  will  finally  put  an  end  to  the  world,  when  all  those  who 
always  rebelled  against  the  will  of  God  will,  in  an  instant, 
be  hurled  into  the  everlasting  flames  of  hell  by  these 
irresistible  words  of  the  Almighty  :  "Depart  from  me, 
ye  cursed,  into  everlasting  fire,  which  was  prepared  for 
the  devil  and  his  angels,"  there  to  obey  the  laws  of  God's 
justice  forever. 

5.  What,  then,  should  be  our  greatest  care  in  this  world  ? 

Our  greatest  care  in  this  world  should  be  to  know  and 
to  do  the  holy  will  of  God. 

To  serve  God  according  to  his  will  is  the  principal  end 
of  life.  To  regulate  all  the  affairs  of  the  universe,  to  be 
always  successful  in  our  undertakings,  to  heap  up  the  riches 
of  this  world,  obtain  great  honors  and  dignities,  extend 
our  possessions  beyond  bounds,  without  having  rendered 
our  Creator  the  service  which  is  due  him,  is,  in  the  judg 
ment  of  heaven,  to  have  done  nothing,  to  have  lived  on 
earth  in  vain.  On  the  other  hand,  to  have  done  nothing 
for  the  world,  to  have  always  languished  on  a  sick-bed,  to 
have  been  despised  by  all  our  fellow-men,  to  have  lived 
in  some  obscure  abode,  but  to  have  served  God  throughout, 
would  be  enough,  because  we  should  have  conducted  to  its 
last  end  the  only  thing  for  which  this  present  life  was 
given  us. 

The  remembrance  of  this  truth  has  more  than  once  ren- 

16  WHY   WE   ARE   IN   THIS   WORLD. 

dered  the  wisdom  of  children  superior  to  that  of  old  men. 
In  a  tender  age  St.  Teresa  retired  into  a  solitary  place, 
and  spoke  to  herself  thus :  "  Teresa,  you  will  be  either 
eternally  happy  or  eternally  unhappy  !  Choose  which  you 
please.''  Young  Stanislas  de  Kostka  gave  all  to  God, 
and  nothing  to  the  world.  Being  asked  why 'he  acted  so 
strangely :  "  I  am  not  made  for  this  world,"  he  replied, 
abut  for  the  world  to  come."  Let  the  world  cry  out 
against  this  truth  j  let  the  flesh  revolt  against  it ;  let  all 
the  demons  deny  and  oppose  it, — it  is  and  remains  an 
immortal  truth,  that  we  were  created  by  God  to  serve  him 
in  this  world  according  to  his  will,  and,  as  a  reward  for  this 
service,  to  possess  him  forever  in  the  next,  or  to  be  pun 
ished  in  hell  forever  for  having  refused  to  obey  the  Lord. 
Who  but  an  atheist  would  dare  deny  this  truth  ? 




1.  Who  can  teach  us  how  to  serve  God  according  to  his 

God  alone  can  teach  us  his  holy  will,  either  by  himself, 
or  by  those  to  whom  'he  has  made  his  ivill  known. 

Man  was  created  by  God  for  a  state  of  perfection. 
But  man  cannot  learn  even  in  what  that  perfection  con 
sists,  without^  being  taught.  This  is  a  plain  fact.  Every 
one  bears  witness  to  it.  Each  one  has  had  a  mother  who 
taught  him  the  first  elements  of  instruction.  The  mother 
watches  over  the  gradual  dawning  of  reason.  She 
teaches  the  child  how  to  think,  how  to  reason,  by  teaching 
it  words  and  language.  She  teaches  it  how  to  distinguish 
between  right  and  wrong,  to  love  virtue,  and  to  hate  sin, 
to  pray  to  God.  Thus  she  implanted  in  the  child's  heart 
the  first  lessons  of  religion. 

The  means,  then,  by  which  all  of  us  began  to  acquire 
knowledge,  and  to  advance  in  the  way  of  perfection,  was 
instruction ;  and  the  means  by  which  we  continue  to 
acquire  knowledge  and  to  approach  perfection,  is  also 
instruction.  The  powers  of  reasoning,  in  a  full-grown 


man,  are  but  the  fruit  of  instruction.  He  is  still  the  child 
of  men,  the  child  of  parents,  the  child  of  those  who  sur 
round  him. 

Instruction  is  necessary,  in  order  to  acquire  the  know 
ledge  of  natural  truths  j  but  instruction  is  still  more 
necessary  in  order  to  learn  those  truths  which  are  super 
natural,  and  lead  us  to  heaven.  For,  "  hardly  do  we  guess 
aright  at  things  that  are  upon  earth,"  says  Holy  Scripture, 
il  and  with  labor  do  we  find  the  things  that  are  before  us : 
but  the  things  that  are  in  heaven,  who  shall  search  ?  " 
(Wisd.  ix,  16.)  For  this  reason  St.  Paul  says:  "No 
man  knoweth  what  is  in  man,  except  the  spirit  of  man  ; 
and  in  like  manner  no  one  knoweth  what  is  of  God,  unldss 
the  spirit  of  God."  (1  Cor.  ii,  11.)  The  end  for  which 
man  was  created,  his  everlasting  union  with  God,  says  the 
Vatican  Council,  is  far  above  the  human  understanding. 
It  was,  therefore,  necessary  that  God  should  make  him 
self  known  to  man,  and  teach  him  the  end  for  which  he 
was  created,  and  what  he  must  believe  and  do,  in  order 
to  become  worthy  of  everlasting  happiness. 

2.  How  does  God  make  himself  known  1 

God  makes  himself  known:  1,  by  the  visible  world; 
2,  by  our  conscience  ;  3,  by  his  word. 

Never,  from  the  very  beginning  of  the  world,  has  God 
the  Father,  who  is  most  merciful  and  kind,  been  wanting 
to  his  own.  Having  created  men  to  know  him,  he  did  not 
leave  them  in  the  dark,  but  on  many  occasions,  and  in 
various  ways,  manifested  himself  to  them,  and  pointed 
out,  in  a  manner  suited  to  the  times  and  circumstances,  a 
sure  and  direct  path  to  the  happiness  of  heaven.  He 
revealed  himself  to  man  by  creation.  Although  hidden  in 
creation,  he  constantly  speaks  to  man  through  his  great 


works.  An  architect  speaks  to  us  through  a  beautiful 
building,  a  painter  through  a  painting,  a  writer  through 
a  book.  God  the  Father  speaks  to  men  in  like  manner : 
"  He  hath  manifested  his  power  and  divinity  in  the  crea 
tion  of  the  world."  (Rom.  i,  19.)  He  shows  his  power  in 
the  storm,  in  the  cataract,  in  the  earthquake  :  u  For  the  in 
visible  things  of  him  are  understood  by  the  things  that  are 
made."  (Rom.  i,  20.)  He  makes  known  his  wisdom  in  the 
laws  by  which  he  governs  the  boundless  universe  :  "  The 
wisdom  of  God  reacheth  from  end  to  end  mightily,  and 
ordereth  all  things  sweetly."  (Wisd.  viii,  1.)  God  the 
Father  shows  his  beauty  in  the  flower,  in  the  sunbeam, 
in  the  many-tinted  rainbow  j  his  justice  in  the  punish 
ments  which  he  has  inflicted,  and  continues  to  inflict, 
on  the  wicked ;  he  displays  his  goodness  and  liberality 
in  the  heavens,  which  give  us  light  and  rain  j  in  the 
fire,  which  gives  us  warmth  j  in  the  air,  which  preserves 
our  life  j  in  the  earth,  which  furnishes  us  with  various 
kinds  of  fruit  j  in  the  sea,  which  gives  us  fish  5  in  the 
animals,  which  give  us  food  and  clothing :  "  He  left 
not  himself  without  testimony,  doing  good  from  heaven, 
giving  rains  and  fruitful  seasons."  (Acts  xiv,  16.)  Hence  : 
"  All  men  are  vain  in  whom  there  is  not  the  knowledge 
of  God  j  and  who,  by  these  good  things  that  are  seen, 
could  not  understand  him  that  is.  neither,  by  attending 
to  the  works,  have  acknowledged  who  was  the  workman. 
.  .  .  For,  if  they  were  able  to  know  so  much  as  to  make 
a  judgment  of  the  world,  how  did  they  not  more  easily 
find  the  Lord  thereof?  "  (Wisd.  xiii,  1,  9 ;  Rom.  i,  £0  ; 
Aots  xiv,  16.)  Therefore,  "if  any  one  shall  say  that 
the  one  true  God,  our  Creator  and  Lord,  cannot  be 
certainty  known  by  the  natural  light  of  human  reason. 


through  created  things,  let  him  be  accursed."  (Vatic. 
Counc.  II,  !.)• 

3.  How  does  God  make  himself  known  by  our  con 
science  ? 

By  our  conscience,   God  reminds-  us  of  his  justice   in 
ewarding  the  good  and  punishing  the  tvicked. 

God  speaks  to  man,  not  only  through  the  visible  works 
of  his  creation,  but  lalso  through  an  inner  voice  in  the^soul 
of  man,  which  is  called  conscience.  For  instance,  a  wicked 
man  ^wishes  to  gratify  his  evil  desires,  without  shame, 
without  remorse.  In  order  to  do  this,  he  tries  to  get  rid 
of  religion.  So  he  says:  "There  is  no  God,  there  is  no 
hell,  there  is  no  hereafter ;  there  is  only  this  present  life, 
and  all  in  it  is  good."  But  a  secret  voice  and  monitor  with 
in  him  speaks,  and  will  not  be  silenced,  and  tells  him  : 
"  There  is  a  just  God  who  will  punish  you  for  your  crimes  in 
hell ;  there  is  a  strict  and  terrible  judgment  that  awaits  you 
after  death."  This  is  conscience,  that  never  deserts  a  man, 
that  cannot  be  stifled  or  killed.  In  the  silence  of  the  night, 
when  others  are  sleeping  around  him,  he  cannot  sleep. 
His  conscience  tortures  him.  It  asks  him :  "  Were  you 
to  die  in  this  state  this  night,  what  would  become  of  you? 
It  is  a  terrible  thing  to  fall  unprepared  into  the  hands  of 
the  living  God  !  Think  of  eternity  !  eternity  !  eternity  ! 
Think  of  the  worm  that  never  dies,  and  the  fire  that  never 

'  /  y 

quenches !"  No  wonder  that  men  sometimes  commit 
suicide.  They  cannot  bear  the  remorse  of  conscience, 
and  so  they  try  to  find  rest  in  death.  The  hell  of  the 
wicked  begins  even  in  this  world,  and  it  continues  through 
out  all  eternity  in  the  next.  For  this  reason  St.  Paul 
says:  "  Tribulation  and  anguish  upon  every  soul  of  man 
that  worketh  evil."  (Rom.  ii;  9.)  Witness  Adam,  who, 


after  his  fall,  hid  himself  from  the  face  of  the  Lord  amidst 
the  trees  of  paradise."-  (Gen.  iii,  8.)  Cain,  who,  after  the 
murder  of  his  brother  Abel,  said :  "  My  iniquity  is  greater 
than  that  I  may  deserve  pardon.  ...  I  shall  be  a  vagabond 
and  a  fugitive  on  the  earth.  'Every  one  that  findeth  me 
shall  kill  me.".  (Gen.  iv,  13,  14.)  Henry  VIII,  King  of 
England,  when  on  his  death-bed,  took  those  who  stood 
around  his  Bed  for  so  many  monks  whom  he  had  cruelly 
treated.  This  vision  was  but  his  bad  conscience  torment 
ing  him  for  his  evil  deeds. 

Another  man  was  a  great  sinner;  but  he  went  to 
make  a  good  confession.  See  him  after  confession :  his 
countenance  is  radiant  with  beauty ;  his  step  has  become 
again  light  and  elastic,  his  soul  reflects  upon  his  features 
the  holy  joy  with  which  it  is  inebriated  j  he  smiles  upon 
those  whom  he  meets,  and  every  one  sees  that  he  is 
happy.  He  trembles  now  no  more  when  he  lifts  his  eyes 
to  heaVen  j  he  hopes,  he  loves ;  a  supernatural  strength 
vivifies  and  animates  him  j  he  feels  himself  burning  with 
zeal  and  energy  to  do  good ;  a  new  sun  has  risen  upon  his 
life,  and  everything  in  him  puts  on  the  freshness  of  youth. 
And  why  ?  Because  his  conscience  has  thrown  off  a 
load  that  bent  him  to  the  earth ;  it  tells  him  that  now  he 
is  once  more  the  companion  of  angels  ;  that  he  has  again 
entered  that  sweet  alliance  with  God,  whom  he  can  now 
justly  call  his  Father ;  that  he  is  reinstated  in  his  dignity 
of  a  child  of  God.  He  is  no  longer  afraid  of  God's 
justice,  of  death  and  hell.  Now  this  voice  of  conscience, 
which  fills  the  souls  of  the  just  with  peace  and  happiness, 
and  strikes  terror  into  the  souls  of  the  wicked,  does  not 
come  from  ourselves,  for  it  punishes  us,  and  admonishes 
us  to  dread  an  invisible  avenger  of  sin,  and  to  hope  in  a 


rewarder  of  virtue  ;  nor  does  it  come  from  education,  for 
it  is  found  even  in  the  untutored  savage.  When  Columbus 
discovered  America,  the  chieftain  of  an  Indian  tribe  one 
day  said  to  him :  "  I  am  told  that  thou  hast  lately  come 
to  these  lands  with  a  mighty  force,  and  subdued  many 
countries,  spreading  great  fear  among  the  people ;'  but  be 
not,  therefore,  vainglorious.  Know  that,  according  to 
our  belief,  the  souls  of  men  have  two  journeys  to  perform 
after  they  have  departed  from  the  body :  one,  to  a  place 
dismal  and  foul,  and  covered  with  darkness,  prepared  for 
those  who  have  been  unjust  and  cruel  to  their  fellow-men  ; 
the  other,  pleasant  and  full  of  delight,  for  such  as  have 
promoted  peace  on  earth.  If,  then,  thou  art  mortal  and 
dost  expect  to  die,  and  dost  believe  that  each  one  shall  be 
rewarded  according  to  his  deeds,  beware  that  thou 
wrongfully  hurt  no  man,  nor  do  harm  to  those  who  have 
done  no  harm  to  thee."  (Irving's  "  Columbus,"  chap,  v, 
p.  483.)  From  this  short  oration  of  a  heathen  it  is 
evident  that  there  is  a  voice  of  conscience  even  in  the 
savage,  telling  him  what  is  right  and  wrong,  praiseworthy 
and  blameworthy. 

Therefore,  St.  Paul  says:  "When  the  Gentiles,  who 
have  not  the  law,  do  by  nature  those  things  that  are  of  the 
law :  these  having  not  the  law  are  a  law  to  themselves, 
who  show  the  work  of  the  law  written  in  their  hearts,  their 
conscience  bearing  witness  to  them,  and  their  thoughts 
between  themselves  accusing,  or  also  defending  one  an 
other."  (Rom.  ii,  14,  15.)  The  voice  of  conscience  is,  then, 
from  God,  from  that  holy  and  just  Being  who  made  our 
heart,  and  from  the  beginning  stamped  upon  the  soul  of 
man  the  conception  of  right  and  wrong.  Therefore,  it  is 
said:  "In  every  work  of  thine  regard  thy  soul  in  faith ;" 


that  is,  follow  the  voice  of  thy  conscience  in  every  work 
of  thine,  "for  this  is  the  keeping  of  the  commandments." 
(Ecclus.  xxxii,  27.) 
4.  When  did  God  make  himself  known  by  his  word  ? 

God  made  himself  known  by  his  word  when  he  spoke  to 
men  :  1,  in  his  own  person  ;  2,  by  the  patriarchs  and  pro 
phets  ;  3,  by  his  only  Son. 

God  speaks  to  man  by  his  works ;  he  speaks  to  him 
through  his  conscience.  But,  in  order  to  leave  man  no 
possible  excuse  for  not  arriving  at  the  knowledge  of  God, 
lie  revealed  himself  to  man  by  his  own  word.  If  a  friend 
visits  us  at  night,  and  finds  us  sitting  in  the  dark,  he  speaks, 
he  makes  use  of  words,  to  show  that  he  is  really  present. 
In  like  manner  God,  wishing  to  reveal  himself  to  man  sitting 
in  the  darkness  of  this  life,  addressed  words  to  him. 
This  is  the  very  first  article  of  faith.  God  spoke  to  our 
first  parents  in  the  garden  of  paradise.  After  God  had 
made  man,  he  appeared  to  him,  and,  like  a  good  father, 
told  him  who  he  is,  why  he  had  made  him,  and  what  he 
must  believe  and  do  to  be  happy  with  him  in  heaven,  and 
escape  the  everlasting  pains  of  hell.  God  gave  man  the 
light  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  so  that  man  knew  God,  knew 
his  holiness  and 'perfections.  And  he  knew  himself,  and 
the  nature  in  which  God  had  created  him  j  he  knew  the 
law  of  God,  the  reward  attached  to  its  observance,  and  the 
punishment  incurred  for  its  transgression. 

And  how  intimate  was  the  intercourse  between  God 
and  man,  even  after  the  fall !  Though  cast  out  of  Eden, 
man  had  not  entirely  lost  one  of  his  greatest  privileges : 
that  of  hearing  the  voice  of  God,  and  receiving  direct 
communication  from  him.  God  promised  Adam  a  Re 
deemer  j  he  taught  him  to  offer  sacrifice :  that  is,  the  way 


in  which  he  wished  to  be  worshipped  f  for  the  sake  of  the 
Redeemer  he  promised  him,  and  all  his  descendants,  pardon 
and  grace  to  merit  heaven,  by  obeying  his  law. 

The  familiarity  between  God  and  Cain  and  Abel  was 
quite  as  close  as  it  was  between  God  and  Adam  :  "  The 
Lord  had  respect  to  Abel  and  his  offerings,  but  to  Cain 
and  his  offerings  he  had  no  respect."  (Gen.  iv,  4,  5.)  The 
fall  did  not  entirely  break  that  communion.  What  broke 
it  was  the  subsequent  wickedness  of  mankind.  As  in 
the  case  of  Cain,  a  wilful  crime  lost  him  the  privilege  of 
that  near*  presence  of  God  which  original  sin  had  not. 
But  as  yet  man  had  very  close  and  constant  intercourse 
with  God, — so  constant,  that  it  seems  nothing  could  be  done 
in  the  way  of  religious  observance  without  God's  direction. 
Immediately,  too,  on  sacrifice  being  offered,  there  was  a 
sensible  sign  of  God's  acceptance  or  otherwise  j  and  a 
voice  from  God  was  so  usual  that  no  surprise  or  change 
in  ordinary  feeling  was  caused  by  it. 

5.  W no  were  the  patriarchs  ? 

The  patriarchs  were  those  holy  men  who  lived  fromf  tJie 
time  of  Adam  to  that  of  Moses  ;  as  Noe,  Abraham,  Isaac, 
Jacob,  etc. 

The  world  in  which  we  live  is  the  temple  of  God.  The 
earth,  with  its  flowers  and  verdure,  forms  the  carpeted 
floor.  The  sky  above,  with  its  sun  and  moon  and  stars,  is 
the  vaulted  dome.  God  created  this  temple,  in  order  that 
man  might  worship  him  therein,  lead  a  holy  life,  and  gain 
an  eternal  reward.  But  God  foresaw,  from  all  eternity, 
that  man  would  not  always  live  up  to  this  sublime  end. 
God,  then,  would  have  been  frustrated  in  his  design  in 
creating  the  world,  had  he  not  decreed,  from  all  eternity,  to 
send  a  Redeemer,  through  whom  he  was  to  be  reconciled 


to  man.  It  was,  therefore,  principally  for  the  sake  of  the 
Redeemer  that  the  world  was  created,  for  he  was  to  come 
into  this  world  for  the  justification  and  glorification  of 
man  :  "  Or  do  enim  natures  creatus  est  et  institutus  propter 
ordinem  gratice"  says  St.  Thomas  Aquinas. 

The  principal  end  of  the  creation  of  the  universe  is  * 
Christ,  that  through  him  man  might  receive  the  grace  of 
God  here  below,  and  everlasting  glory  in  the  world  to 
come.  Although  it  be  true  that  the  Eedeemer,  so  to 
speak,  is  a  certain  part  of  this  world,  which  is  prior  to 
him  in  material  existence,  yet,  if  considered  in  his  final 
end,  he  is  prior  to  the  world.  For  this  reason  St.  Paul 
calls  our  blessed  Redeemer,  Jesus  Christ,  the  beginning, 
tlie  first-born  from  the  dead,  that  in  all  things  he  may  hold 
primacy  :  "  Because  in  him  it  hath  pleased  the  Father 
that  all  fulness  should  dwell,  and  through  him  to  reconcile 
all  things  unto  himself,  making  peace  through  the  blood  of 
the  cross,  both  as  to  things  on  earth,  and  the  things  that 
are  in  heaven."  (Col.  i,  18-20.) 

As  God  created  the  world  principally  for  the  sake  of 
the  Redeemer  and  his  religion,  so  also  for  his  sake  he  has 
preserved  the  world.  To  create  the  world,  God  used  no 
effort.  He  simply  said,  "  Be  it  done,"  and  all  was  done. 
But,  to  redeem  the  world,  God  the  Father  willed  that  his 
well-beloved  Son  should  become  man,  sacrifice  wealth, 
honors,  pleasure,  and  everything  that  man  holds  dear  5 
that  he  should  suffer  poverty,  contempt,  persecution,  and 
at  last  die  upon  the  cross,  and  pour  out  every  drop  of 
his  heart's  blood.  Now,  if  God  preserves  the  universe, — 
the  material  temple, — for  the  sake  of  religion,  he  must,  of 
course,  watch  with  still  greater  care  over  the  preservation 
of  his  religion.  Wishing,  then,  that  the  religion  revealed 


to  Adam  should  be  handed  down  tmcorrupted  to  his 
descendants,  and  foreseeing,  at  the  same  time,  that  this 
religion  would  be  abandoned  or  misinterpreted  by  many, 
he  provided,  from  the  beginning,  a  set  of  holy  men  called 
patriarchs,  to  whom  he  spoke,  and  who,  in  his  name, 
should  proclaim  the  revealed  truths,  and  teach  the  way  of 
salvation  to  their  fellow-rnen. 

The  first  who  abandoned  the  truth  was  Cain,  Adam's  son. 
He*had  sinned  in  the  choice  of  his  offering.  God  reproached 
him  for  it.  Instead  of  being  sorry  for  his  sin,  he  added 
to  it  the  sin  of  murder.  Soon  after,  God  appeared  to  him, 
saying  :  u  Cain,  where  is  thy  brother  Abel  I  "  u  I  know 
nothing  of  him :  am  I  my  brother's  keeper  f  "  he  impu 
dently  replied.  u  What  hast  thou  done  with  thy  brother  Ty 
said  the  Lord.  "  Thou  hast  killed  him,  thou  hast  shed  his 
blood  upon  the  ground,  and  that  blood  cries  to  heaven  for 
vengeance.  Cursed  shalt  thou  be,  a  wanderer  and  a 
vagabond  on  the  earth."  This  terrible  threat  was  fulfilled 
to  the  letter,  and  for  several  hundred  years  that  Cain  lived 
after,  he  was  made  to  suffer  the  frightful  consequences 
of  his  crime. 

Cain  was  now  banished  from  the  u  face  of  the  Lord," 
and  was  condemned  to  live  separate  from  the  members  of 
Adam's  family,  who  feared  God.  He  became  the  father 
of  a  numerous  family,  who  were  brought  up  by  him  with 
out  any  fear  or  knowledge  of  God.  Cain  had  now  become 
what  is  called  an  open  infidel  or  unbeliever,  and  had  ceased 
to  teaxch  and  practise  any  religious  duty.  God,  however, 
provided  a  believer  and  faithful  bearer  of  truth  in  Seth, 
the  next  son  of  Adam,  born  after  the  murder  of  Abel. 
The  whole  family  of  Cain  were  unbelievers,  who  neVer 
troubled  themselves  in  any  way  at  all  about  prayer  or 


sacrifice,  or  the  worship  of  God ;  while  Seth  was  a  just 
man,  who  taught  all  his  household  to  fear  God,  and  to 
offer  the  sacrifices  which  God  had  commanded.  Enos,  the 
son  of  Seth,  was  particularly  remarkable  for  having  exerted 
himself  to  assemble  the  people  for  the  public  worship  of 
God  j  and  so  strong  was  the  feeling  on  the  part  of  the 
different  families  of  Seth  and  Cain,  that  they  remained 
for  some  centuries  separated  from  one  another  5  the  relig 
ious  families  looking  upon  the  impious  race  as  quite  unfit 
company  for  themselves,  and  the  unbelievers  having  just 
the  same  scorn  and  contempt  for  those  who  feared  God  as 
the  same  kind  of  persons  have  still  at  the  present  day. 
Then  began  the  distinctive  term,  "  sons  of  God,"  or 
"  people  of  God,"  in  contradistinction  to  the  term,  u  sons 
of  men,"  the  descendants  of  Cain. 

In  this  state  of  things  Almighty  God  showed  mercy  to 
the  unbelieving  race.  He  sent  Enoch,  a  very  holy  man, 
to  warn  them  that  God  would  come  surrounded  with  all 
his  holy  angels,  "to  execute  a  judgment  against  all  the 
blasphemers  of  his  name,  for  all  the  hard  things  they  had 
spoken  against  him."  (Jude  xv.)  God,  however,  gave 
them  still  a  trial  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  years ;  but 
seeing  that,  instead  of  profiting  by  his  repeated  warnings, 
they  grew  more  wicked,  he  destroyed  them  all  in  the 

All  men,  except  the  pious  Noe,  with  his  family,  had 
perished  in  the  Deluge.  Noe  taught  his  children  the  re 
ligion  which  God  had  taught  man  from  the  beginning. 
From  him  all  nations  carried  away  with  them,  into  the 
lands  in  which  they  settled,  the  knowledge  of  a  just  God? 
who  rewards  the  good  and  punishes  the  wicked ;  the  hope 
in  a  Redeemer  to  come ;  the  consciousness  of  right  and 


wrong ;  the  duty  of  prayer,  and  of  observing  the  Sabbath 
with  sacrifices.  Such  was  the  simple  religion  which  Noe 
taught  his  sons  j  and  this  would  have  continued  if  the 
nations  had  preserved  what  they  had  learned  from  Noe. 
Unhappily,  however,  they  did  not  preserve  it.  Though 
they  were  too  frightened  at  the  memory  of  the"  terrible 
judgment  of  the  Deluge  to  become  infidels  like  the  people 
before  the  Deluge,  they  began  to  wish  for  objects  of  wor 
ship  which  they  might  be  able  to  see.  So  they  gave 
themselves  up  to  their  evil  inclinations,  and  became,  at 
last,  so  wicked  and  foolish,  that,  instead  of  worshipping  the 
true  God,  they  worshipped  the  sun  and  the  moon,  certain 
men  and  animals,  and  even  idols  of  gold  and  silver,  and  of 
stone  and  wood. 

At  this  time,  about  three  hundred  and  fifty  years  after 
the  Deluge,  God  appeared  to  Abraham,  and  commanded 
him  to  leave  his  country,  his  family,  his  home,  in  order 
that  he  might  not  be  exposed  to  the  society  of  the  wicked, 
and  to  induce  him  to  consider  the  earth  as  a  place  of  exile, 
and  heaven  his  true  home  ;  to  make  him  the  father  of  a 
people  who  were  to  be  different,  in  manners  and  religion, 
from  all  the  other  peoples  of  the  earth.  Abraham  believed 
and  obeyed  God,  who  rewarded  him  for  his  submission. 
By  a  solemn  alliance  which  he  made  with  him,  God  prom 
ised  to  take  him  and  his  posterity  under  his  protection, 
to  make  him  the  father  of  a  great  people,  to  give  him  a 
land  that  was  rich  and  abundant,  called  Chanaan,  for 
himself  and  his  posterity.  God  also  promised  that  the 
Redeemer,  or  Messiah,  should  be  born  of  the  race  of  Abra 
ham.  (Gen.  xviii.)  God  swore  by  himself  to  the  fulfilment 
of  these  promises,  and  appointed  circumcision  as  a  mark 
to  distinguish  Abraham  and  his  posterity  from  all  the  other 


peoples  of  the  earth.  (Gen.  xvii,  14;  xxii,  16;  Heb.  vi, 
13;  xvi,  17.) 

Jacob,  the  grandson  of  Abraham,  and  heir  to  the 
promise,  went  into  Egypt,  where  the  covenant,  and  the 
warning  threats  against  those  who  forgot  God,  began  to 
be  fulfilled.  The  descendants  of  Abraham  became  very 
numerous,  but  they  entirely  lost  his  singleness  of  mind 
and  purity  of  heart.  God,  ever  faithful  to  his  warnings, 
in  order  to  centre  in  himself  the  hopes  and  aspirations  of 
this  ungrateful  people,  caused  them  to  feel  the  bitterness 
and  ignominy  of  the  degrading  bondage  of  the  Egyptians, 
but  at  the  same  time  raised  up  Moses  to  be  among  them 
the  representative  of  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac  and 
Jacob.  Holy  Scripture  tells  us  that  God  also  appeared 
and  spoke  to  many  other  holy  and  illustrious  men.  All 
these  were  teachers  from  God,  and  therefore  infallible 
in  their  teaching,  "  whether  men  would  hear,  or  whether 
they  would  forbear."  That  patriarchal  body,  simply 
because  it  was  God's  ordinance,  was  a  guide,  sure  and 
infallible,  to  the  extent  of  the  revelation  of  God,  as  then 
made  known. 

<>,  How  did  the  patriarchs  serve  God  ? 

The  patriarchs  served  God:  1,  by  faith,  hope,  and 
charity  ;  2,  by  prayer  and  sacrifice  ;  3,  by  doing  what  they 
knew  to  be  the  ivill  of  God. 

During  their  lives  the  patriarchs  gave  abundant  proofs 
of  their  implicit  faith  in  the  one  living  God,  of  their  firm 
hope  in  the  faithfulness  of  his  promises,  and  of  their  char 
ity  toward  God,  by  scrupulously  keeping  his  command 
ments,  and  walking  reverently  in  his  sight.  Holy  Scripture 
tells  us  of  Henoch  :  "  Henoch  walked  with  God,  and  was 
seen  no  more,  because  God  took  him."  (Gen.  v,  24.) 


This  tf  walking  with  God  "  is,  of  course,  walking  by  God's 
rule  or  law,  leading  a  practical,  highly  religious  life,  and 
consequently  enjoying  close  communion  with  God  on 
earth,  especially  when  at  prayer,  and  in  the  act  of  offering 
sacrifice  to  the  Lord.  The  patriarchs  had  their  places  of 
worship.  They  did  not  merely  worship  God  under  the 
vault  of  heaven  ;  they  had  places  set  apart  for  divine  wor 
ship.  The  phrase,  "  before  the  Lord,"  frequently  occurs, 
and  in  a  local  sense.  Cain  and  Abel,  for  instance,  brought 
their  offerings  to  a  certain  spot ;  and  when  Cain  was  ban 
ished,  he  "  went  out  from  the  face  of  the  Lord  "  (Gen.  iv, 
16),  which,  in  regard  to  God's  omnipresence,  would,  of 
course,  have  been  impossible.  The  reference,  therefore, 
is  to  a  local  presence,  to  a  place  in  which  God  met  his 
worshippers,  and  made  himself  known  to  them,  either  by 
showing  his  glory,  or  by  an  answer  to  prayer,  or  by  some 
other  sensible  means.  So,  also,  in  the  case  of  Abraham 
(Ibid,  xviii,  22),  after  the  angel  had  left  him,  and  gone 
toward  Sodom,  "Abraham  as  yet  stood  before  the  Lord." 

The  patriarchs  clearly  believed  that  in  certain  places, 
especially  consecrated  to  his  service,  God  would  be  best 
propitiated  and  served, 

Then,  again,  besides  places  of  worship,  there  were  min 
isters  :  special  persons  appointed  to  officiate,  and  to  offer 
sacrifice.  The  instance  of  Melchisedech  shows  this  :  "  He 
was  priest  of  the  most  high  God."  And  Abraham  must 
have  been  quite  familiar  with  the  character  of  the  priestly 
office,  from  the  respect  which  he  showed  Melchisedech,  and 
his- receiving  a  blessing  from  him  :  "  Without  all  contradic 
tion,  that  which  is  less  is  blessed  by  the  greater."  (Heb. 
vii,  7.)  f  ^ 

The  patriarchs  had  also  their  religious  ceremonies  and 

GOD  THE  FATHER  OUE  TEACHER.          31 

customs.  There  was  the  consecration  ceremonial,  by  which 
places  were  set  apart  for  worship,  by  anointing  them  with 
oil,  as  at  Bethel,  when  Jacob  anointed  the  pillar,  and 
poured  a  drink-offering  on  it. 

There  was  the  ceremony  of  baring  the  feet  on  entering 
consecrated  places,  which  is  still  observed  in  the  East. 

There  was  also  a  posture  for  worship,  viz.,  the  bowing 
down  to  the  ground  in  prayer  before  the  Lord. 

There  was  a  special  day  for  the  performance  of 
religious  duties  :  the  Sabbath,  the  institution  of  which  dates 
from  the  creation,  appearing  in  the  book  of  Genesis  by 
the  mention  of  weeks.  Noe,  we  are  told,  "waited  yet 
seven  other  days,"  and  "sent  forth  the  dove  out  of  the 
ark,'7  and  "  he  stayed  yet  other  seven  days,  and  he  sent  forth 
the  dove,  which  returned  not  any  more  unto  him."  (Gen. 
viii,l2.)  "  And  before  the  giving  of  the  ten  commandments, 
it  is  spoken  of  as  a  Sabbath  :  "  And  he  said  to  them,  this  is 
what  the  Lord  has  spoken  :  To-morrow  is  the  rest  of  the 
Sabbath,  sanctified  to  the  Lord."  (Ex.  xvi,  23.)  And  in 
the  27th  verse  of  the  same  chapter  we  have  that  Sabbath 
spoken  of  as  the  seventh  day:  "And  the  seventh  day 
came,  and  some  of  the  people  going  forth  to  gather  (the 
manna)  found  none." 

From  all  this  it  is  clear  that  the  patriarchs  were  men  of 
a  lively  and  definite  faith ;  men  of  constant  prayer,  and 
models  of  scrupulous  exactitude  in  complying  with  all  the 
prece'pts  of  the  Lord.  The  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac  and 
Jacob,  live.s  among  us  Christians  with  a  far  more  tender 
love.  What  a  shame  and  confusion  for  us,  if,  on  the 
day  of  judgment,  we  shall  see  that  the  patriarchs  have 
surpassed  us  in  faith,  hope  and  charity  ! 


7.  Who  were  the  prophets  ? 

The  prophets  were  holy  men,  sent  ~by  God  to  teach 
especially  the  Jeivish  people  to  observe  Godjs  law  given 
through  Moses. 

About  the  time  of  Moses  the  grossest  darkness  of  the 
understanding,  and  the  most  lamentable  depravity  of  the 
will,  prevailed  almost  over  the  entire  world.  All  mankind, 
with  the  exception  of  the  Jews,  had  lost  the  knowledge  of 
God,  and  the  hope  in  the  Redeemer  to  come ;  they  w<3r- 
shipped  creatures,  even  the  very  demons,  as  gods,  and 
the  most  shameful  vices  were  praised  as  virtues.  From 
the  corrupt  mass  of  mankind,  however,  God  had  chosen 
the  Jews,  or  Israelites,  as  his  people ;  over  them  he 
watched  with  special  care,  in  order  that,  through  them,  all 
those  truths  of  religion  which  he  had  made  known  to  man 
kind  from  the  beginning,  should  be  preserved,  and  that 
from  them,  at  last,  should  be  born  one  holy  enough  to  be  the 
mother  of  the  Redeemer.  God  appeared  to  Moses,  his 
faithful  servant,  and  made  him  his  great  lawgiver,  pro 
phet,  and  performer  of  miracles.  Through  him  he  led  the 
Jews  out  of  Egypt,  gave  them  the  ten  commandments, 
and  instituted  the  priesthood  of  Aaron,  whose  duty  it  was 
to  preserve  and  to  teach  all  that  God  had  commanded  the 
Jews  to  observe  in  their  religion. 

From  time  to  time,  God  sent  other  prophets  for  the 
salvation  of  his  people.  These  men  led  holy  lives,  often 
secluded  from  the  world,  in  poverty  and  hardship.  They 
left  their  retreats  only  by  the  order  of  God,  and  to  perf6rm 
the  duties  of  their  ministry ;  they  did  not  flatter  kings 
}r  princes ;  they  denounced  all  evildoers,  regardless  of 
their  smiles  or  frowns  j  they  sought  only  God  and  his 
holy  religion.  Good  kings  honored  the  prophets  as  men 

GOD  THE  FATHER  OUR  TEACHER.          33 

of  God  j  the  wicked  persecuted  them,  and  sometimes  put 
them  to  death,  because  these  holy  men  fre'ely  denounced 
their  evil  passions,  and  reproached  them  with  their  crimes. 
Very  celebrated  prophets  were  Elias,  Eliseus,  Isaias, 
Jeremias,  Ezechiel  and  Daniel. 

8.  How  did  the  prophets  prove  their  divine  mission  ? 
The  prophets  proved  their  divine  mission  ~by  miracles 

and  prophecies. 

When  God  sent  a  prophet  to  his  people,  he  would  speak 
to  him  in  this  or  a  similar  manner  :  "  I  sanctified  thee,  and 
made  thee  a  prophet  unto  the  nations  .  .  .  thou  shalt  go 
to  all  that  I  shall  send  thee :  and  whatsoeVer  I  shall  com 
mand  thee,  thou  shalt  speak."  (Jer.  i,  57.)  Now,  in  order 
to  make  the  people  believe  the  prophets,  God  wrought 
through  them  great  miracles. 

9.  What  is  a  miracle  ? 

A  miracle  is  an  extraordinary  worJc,  which  cannot  be 
done  by  natural  powers,  but  by  the  power  of  God  alone. 

A  miracle  is  an  effect  produced  contrary  to  the  laws 
of  nature,  and  which  can  be  performed  by  the  power  of 
God  alone.  He  has  established  the  order  of  nature.  He 
also  can  change  and  suspend  that  order.  He  alone  can 
derogate  from  the  laws  which  he  has  established  for  the 
government  of  the  world,  so  that,  when  a  miracle  takes 
place,  God  acts  and  makes  known  his  power.  When 
a  man,  then,  declares  himself  to  be  a  messenger  from 
God,  and  at  the  same  time,  in  support  of  the  truth  of 
his  assertions,  performs  true  miracles,  his  assertion  must 
certainly  be  believed.  His  declaration  is  confirmed  by 
the  power  of  God,  who  cannot  allow  the  performance  of  a 
miracle  in  support  of  deception  or  lying.  Miracles  are,  as 
it  were,  credentials  signed  by  the  hand  of  God  himself  j 

34          GOD  THE  FATHER  OUR  TEACHER. 

and  not  to  believe  an  assertion  so  confirmed,  is  to  resist 
the  voice  of  God,  who  speaks  through  miracles. 
Miracles  were,  then,  the  strongest  and  most  striking 
proofs  which  God  could  furnish,  in  order  to  make  the 
people  believe  the  prophets.  Elias,  for  instance,  pre 
vented  rain  for  three  years,  exterminated  four  hundred 
and  fifty  idolatrous  priests,  raised  to  life  the  son  of  a 
widow,  made  fire  descend  from  heaven,  divided  the  river 
Jordan  with  his  mantle,  and  passed  through  it  on  dry 
land,  confronted  kings,  was  fed  by  a  raven  and  an  angel, 
foretold  that  Je'sabel,  an  idolatrous  queen,  would  be 
devoured  by  dogs  ;  he  was  carried  in  a  chariot  of  fire  to 
heaven,  and  he  will  return  to  the  earth  at  the  end  of  the 
world,  to  lalbor  for  the  conversion  of  the  Jews.  (3  Kings 
xvii ;  4  Kings,  i ;  Ecclus.  xlviii ;  Mai.  iv,  5  ;  Matt,  xi,  14, 
xvii,  10;  James  v,  17.) 

Eliseus,  like  Elias,  made  a  dry  path  through  the  waters 
of  the  Jordan,  multiplied  oil  for  a  widow,  raised  a  dead 
child  to  life  again,  cured  Naaman  of  leprosy,  foretold  the 
victory  of  the  kings  of  Juda,  Israel,  and  Idumea,  over  the 
Moabites ;  also  the  miraculous  victories  of  the  Israelites 
over  the  Syrians  ;  and  lastly,  by  the  touch  of  his  body,  he 
raised  a  dead  man  to  life.  (4  Kings  xvii  ;  Ecclus.  xlviii, 
13;  Lukeiv,  27.) 

10.  To  whom  does  God  graint  the  gift  of  miracles  ? 

God  grants  the  gift  of  miracles  to  such  only  as  hola  or 
teach  the  truth. 

God  is  true.  He  can  neither  deceive  nor  be  deceived, 
and  therefore  he  can  reveal  nothing  but  the  truth.  To 
convince  men  of  the  truth,  he  has  wrought  miracles  in 
confirmation  of  the  truth.  "  In  order  that  the  obedience 
of  our  faith,'7  says  the  Vatican  Council  (c.  iii),  "  might 

GOD  THE  FATHER  OUR  TEACHER.          35 

be  in  harmony  with  reason,  God  willed  that  to  the  interior 
help  of  the  Holy  Spirit  there  should  be  joined  exterior 
proofs  of  his  revelation,  to  wit :  divine  facts,  and  especially 
miracles  and  prophecies,  which,  as  they  manifestly  display 
the  omnipotence  and  infinite  kno'wledge  of  God,  are  most 
certain  proofs  of  his  divine  revelation,  adapted  to  the  intelli 
gence  of  all  men.  Wherefore,  Moses  and  the  prophets  .  .  . 
showed  forth  many  and  most  evident  miracles  and  pro 
phecies."  If  God,  then,  performs  miracles  through  certain 
men,  it  is  evident  that  they  hold  and  teach  the  truth,  for 
it  would  be  blasphemous  to  think  that  God  would  grant 
the  gift  of  miracles  to  such  as  neither  hold  nor  teach  the 

There  were  false  prophets  before  and  after  the  coming 
of  the  Redeemer.  They  pretended  to  be  sent  by  God ; 
and  to  prove  their  divine  mission,  they  tried  to  perform 
miracles.  But  they  never  succeeded.  In  some  instances 
they  succeeded,  by  the  help  of  the  devil,  whose  ministers 
they  were,  in  performing  certain  wonderful  things,  or 
false  miracles.  When  Moses  performed  great  miracles 
before  Pharao  in  Egypt,  the  magicians  of  the  king  tried 
to  imitate  the  miracles  of  the  great  servant  of  God.  They 
cast  their  rods  before  the  king,  and,  by  devilish  enchant 
ments,  their  rods  seemed  to  be  changed  into  serpents.  But, 
when  Moses  continued  to  perform  miracles,  the  magicians 
were  constrained  to  confess  that  they  were  unable  to  do 
what  Mo'ses  did,  saying  to  the  king,  "  This  is  the  finger 
of  God." 

One  day  the  prophet  Elias  "  came  to  all  the  people  of 
Israel  and  said  :  How  long  do  you  halt  between  two  sides? 
If  the  Lord  be  God,  follow  him  j  but  if  Baal,  then  follow 
him.  And  the  people  did  not  answer  him  a  word,  And 


Elias  said  again  to  the  people  :  I  only  remain  a  prophet 
of  the / Lord  :  but  the  prophets  of  Baal  are  four  hundred 
and  fifty  men.  Let  two  bullocks  be  given  us,  and  let 
them  choose  one  bullock  for  themselves,  and  cut  it  in 
pieces  and  lay  it  upon  wood;  but  put  no  fire  under ;  and 
I  will  dress  the  other  bullock  and  lay  it  on  wood,  and  put  no 
fire  under.  Call  ye  on  the  names  of  your  gods,  and  I  will  call 
on  the  name  of  my  Lord :  and  the  god  that  shall  answer 
by  fire,  let  him  be  God.  And  all  the  people  answering  said  : 
A  very  good  proposal.  Then  Elias  said  to  the  prophets 
of  Baal :  Choose  you  one  bullock,  and  dress  it  first,  be 
cause  you  are  many :  and  call  on  the  names  of  youi 
gods,  but  put  no  fire  under.  And  they  took  the  bullock 
which  he  gave  them,  and  dressed  it :  and  they  called  or 
the  name  of  Baal  from  morning  even  till  noon,  saying,  O 
Baal,  hear  us.  But  there  was  no  voice,  nor  any  that 
answered.  And  when  it  was  now  noon,  Elias  jested  at 
them,  saying :  Cry  with  a  louder  voice,  for  he  is  a  god, 
and  perhaps  he  is  talking,  or  is  in  an  inn,  or  on  a  journey, 
or  perhaps  he  is  asleep  and  must  be  waked.  So  they  cried 
with  a  loud  voice  .  .  .  but  there  was  no  voice  heard, 
nor  did  any  one  answer,  nor  regard  them  as  they  prayed. 
Elias  said  to  all  the  people :  Come  ye  unto  me. 
And  the  people  coming  near  unto  him,  he  repaired  the 
altar  of  the  Lord,  that  was  broken  down.  And  he  built 
with  twelve  stones  an  altar  to  the  name  of  the  Lord,  and 
he  made  a  trench  for  water  of  the  breadth  of  two  furrows 
round  about  the  altar.  And  he  laid  the  wood  in  Order,  and 
cut  the  bullock  in  pieces,  and  laid  it  upon  the  wood,  and 
he  said :  Fill  four  buckets  with  water,  and  pour  it  up6n 
the  burnt-offering,  and  upon  the  wood.  And  he  said,  Do 
the  same  the  second  and  the  third  time,  And  the  water 

GfOD    THE    FATHER    OUR   TEACHER.  37 

ran  round  about  the  altar,  and  the  trench  was  filled  with 
water.  And  when  it  was  now  time  to  offer  the  holocaust, 
Elias  the  prophet  came  near  and  said  :  0  Lord  God  of 
Abraham,  and  Isaac  and  Israel,  show  this  day  that  thou 
art  the  God  of  Israel,  and  I  thy  servant,  and  that  accord 
ing  to  thy  commandments  I  have  done  all  these  things. 
Hear  me  O  Lord,  hear  me,  that  thy  people  may  learn  that 
thou  art  the  Lord  God.  Then  the  fire  of  the  Lord  fell 
and  consumed  the  holocaust,  and  the  wood,  and  the  stones, 
and  the  dust,  and  licked  up  the  water  that  was  in  the 
trench.  And  when  all  the  people  saw  this  they  fell 
on  their  faces,  and  they  said :  The  Lord  he  is  God,  the 
Lord  he  is  God."  (3  Kings  xviii.) 

When  Simon  the  Magician,  by  the  aid  of  the  devil, 
raised  himself  in  the  air,  to  make  the  people  of  Rome 
believe  that  he  was  sent  by  God,  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul 
prayed  that  God  might  confound  this  false  prophet;  and 
suddenly  Simon  fell  from  on  high,  broke  his  legs,  and  was 

At  the  time  of  Martin  Luther,  a  certain  man  named 
William  was  drowned.  Luther  was  requested  to  raise  him 
to  life  again.  He  commanded  him  repeatedly  to  rise  from 
the  dead.  It  was  all  in  vain.  (Bredenbach.  1.  vii,  c.  1.) 

A  certain  Lutheran  preacher  begged  a  man  named 
Matthew  to  feign  death,  and  have  himself  carried  as  a 
corpse  to  the  church,  and  then  to  rise  at  his  bidding,  so 
that  the  people  might  believe  he  had  been  raised  to  life 
again  by  the  prayer  of  a  Protestant  preacher.  Matthew 
complied  with  the  request.  He  was  carried  to  the  church, 
apparently  dead.  The  preacher  approached  the  coffin  and 
said  in  a  loud  voice  :  "  Matthew,  I  command  you  to  rise  in 
the  name  of  Christ,  whose  Gospel  I  preach."  But  Matthew 

38          GOD  THE  FATHER  OUR  TEACHER. 

never  rose.  He  was  dead  ;  God  had  punished  him.  (Franc. 
Torrianus,  1.  i,  "  De  Dogmatibus.") 

Frederick  Staphil  relates  that  Luther  once  endeavored 
to  cast  out  the  devil  from  a  possessed  girl  in  Wirtemberg, 
but  he  was  so  terrified,  that  he  tried  to  escape,  both  by  the 
door  and  the  window,  which,  to  his  great  consternation, 
were  both  made  fast.  Finally,  one  of  his  companions  broke 
open  the  door  with  a  hatchet,  and  they  escaped.  (Resp. 
contra  Jac.  Smidelin,  p.  404.)  Moses,  Elias,  and  other 
true  prophets,  proved  by  real  miracles  that  they  were  sent 
by  Almighty  God,  and  spoke  what  God  inspired  them  to 
speak.  Hence  they  were  readily  believed  when  they 
reminded  the  people  of  keeping  the  law  of  God,  exhorted 
them  to  repentance,  and  extolled  the  tender  mercies  of 
the  Lord.  u  If,  then,"  says  the  Vatican  Council,  "  any 
one  shall  say  that  divine  revelation  cannot  be  made 
credible  by  outward  signs,  and  therefore  that  men  ought 
to  be  moved  to  faith  solely  by  the  internal  experience  of 
each,  or  by  private  inspiration;"  or,  u  if  any  one  shall 
say  that  miracles  are  impossible,  and  therefore  that  all  the 
accounts  regarding  them,  even  those  contained  in  Holy 
Scripture,"  are  to  be  dismissed  as  fabulous  or  mystical,  or 
that  miracles  can  never  be  known  with  certainty,  and 
that  the  divine  origin  of  Christianity  cannot  be  proved 
by  them,  let  him  be  accursed."  (Vatic.  Counc.  Ill,  can. 
3  and  4.1) 

11.  What  is  a  prophecy? 

A  prophecy  is  tlie  foretelling  of  some  future  event,  'known 
to  him  only  to  ivJiom  God  revealed  it. 

Through  the  prophets  God  also  made  known  to  the 
Jews  what  should  happen  to  them,  and  in  connection  with 
them;  what  should  happen  to  other  nations ;  but  he  ^ 


cially  foretold,  through  them,  the  Messiah,  whom  the  Jews 
expected,  and  by  whom  all  nations  were  to  be  saved. 

As  to  the  Jews,  the  prophets  foretold  the  general  ruin 
of  the  kingdom  of  Israel :  that  the  city  and  temple 
would  be  destroyed,  and  restored  for  a  time  ;  that  the 
Jews  would  be  captives  in  Babylon,  and  that  they  would 
again  return  j  that  they  would  reject  the  Messiah,  and 
put  him  to  death  ;  that  God  would  abandon  them,  and  dis 
perse  them  over  the  whole  earth ;  that  he  would  make  an 
eternal  covenant  with  another  people,  and  that  the  Jews 
would  be  converted  at  the  end  of  the  world. 

As  to  the  prophecies  concerning  the  Messiah,  the 
prophet  Daniel  foretold  the  precise  time  of  the  Messiah's 
coming.  While  the  Jews  were  captives  in  Babylon,  God 
sent  his  a'ngel  Gabriel  to  the  prophet  Daniel  to  inform 
him :  1,  that  the  city  and  the  temple  of  Jerusalem  would 
be  rebuilt ;  and,  2,  that  seventy  weeks  would  elapse  from 
the  publication  of  the  edict  for  the  rebuilding  of  the  city 
and  temple  to  the  coming  of  Christ  j  3,  that  in  the  middle 
of  the  seventieth  week  the  Messiah  would  be  put  to 
death  j  4,  that  he  would  be  rejected  by  his  own  people, 
and  consequently  would  cease  to  regard  them  as  his  ;  5, 
that,  after  this,  the  city  and  the  temple  would  be  entirely 
destroyed;  6,  that,  before  the  demolition  of  the  temple, 
the  abomination  of  desolation  would  be  seen  in  that  holy 
place  j  and,  7,  that,  immediately  after,  the  Jews  would 
suffer  a  desolation  which  would  endure  to  the  end  of  time. 
(Dan.  ix,  24,  25,  27.) 

The  prophet's  weeks  are  understood,  by  all  interpreters 
of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  to  mean  years  for  days,  so  that 
sixty-nine  weeks  of  years  amount  to  483  years.  The 
edict  for  rebuilding  the  walls  of  Jerusalem  was  made  by 



Artaxerxes  Longimanus,  in  the  twentieth  year  of  his 
reign,  which  was  the  year  of  the  world  3548.  Now,  if 
to  3548  we  add  Daniel's  weeks  of  years,  483,  the  number 
will  be  4031,  which  is  the  year  of  Christ's  baptism  by  St. 
John,  and  the  commencement  of  his  public  life,  lasting 
about  three  years  and  three  months,  —  the  middle  of  the  last 
seventieth  week,  in  which  Christ  was  put  to  death.  The 
Jews  abandoned  and  denied  Jesus  ;  they  were  rejected 
by  him  as  reprobates,  and  then  the  Romans  destroyed 
their  city  and  temple  :  the  abominations  committed  in  the 
temple,  as  described  by  Josephus,  were  horrible.  Since 
that  time  the  Jews  have  been  dispersed  over  the  whole 
earth,  and,  though  even  aided  in  their  'attempts  to  rebuild 
Jerusalem  by  idolatrous  emperors  who  hated  Christianity, 
they  failed  in  every  effort. 

Isaias  foretold  that  the  Messiah  should  be  born  of  a 
virgin  :  "  Behold  a  virgin  shall  conceive  and  bear  a  son, 
and  his  name  shall  be  called  Emmanuel."  (Isa.  vii,  -15  ) 
"And  Christ  was  conceived  by  the  power  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  and  born  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary,"  (Matt,  i,  23.) 

Micheas  foretold  that  the  Redeemer  should  be  born  In 
the  city  of  Bethlehem,  as  even  the  Jews  declared  to  the 
Magi,  in  the  presence  of  Herod.  (Mich,  v,  2  ;  Matt,  ii,  5, 
6.)  And  Christ  chose  to  be  born  in  a  stable  of  Bethlehem. 

/  /  / 

Isaias  and  David  foretold  all  the  pains,  sorrows,  and 
insults,  which  the  Saviour  was  to  endure,  and  that,  in  a 
manner  so  precise  and  accurate,  as  to  lead  one  to  suppose 
that  they  had  been  eye-witnesses  of  the  sufferings  of  the 
Redeemer  :  "  I  have  given  my  body  to  the  strikers,  and 
my  cheeks  to  them  that  plucked  them  ;  I  have  not  turned 
away  my  face  from  them  that  rebuked  me,  and  spit  upon 

me."     (Isa.    1,    6.)     "I   am   a   worjj^and   no   man,   the 

GOD  THE  FATHER  OUR  TEACHER.          41 

reproach  of  men,  and  the  outcast  of  the  people.  "  (Ps.  xxi, 
7.)  "  There  is  no  beauty  in  him,  nor  comeliness :  de 
spised  and  the  most  abject  of  men,  a  man  of  sorrows,  and 
acquainted  with  infirmity :  surely  he  hath  borne  our  intir- 
.mities,  and  carried  our  sorrows,  and  we  have  thought  him 
as  it  were  a  le'per,  and  as  one  struck  by  God,  and  afflicted." 
(Isa.  liii.)  "  And  they  gave  me  gall  for  my  food,  and  in  my 
thirst  they  gave  me  vinegar  to  drink. "  (Ps.  Ixviii,  22.) 
"  Many  dogs  have  encompassed  me  :  the  council  of  the 
malignant  hath  besieged  me.  They  have  dug  my  hands 
and  feet,  they  have  numbered  all  my  bones.  They  parted 
rny  garments  amongst  them,  and  upon  my  vesture  they 
cast  lots."  (Ps.  xxi,  17-19.) 

David  foretold  the  resurrection  and  ascension  of  the 
Redeemer,  saying,  u  Thou  hast  ascended  on  high,  hast 
led  captivity  captive."  (Ps.  Ixvii,  19.)  "  Sing  ye  to  God, 
who.mounteth  above  the  heavens."  (Ps.  Ixvii,  34.) 

The  prophet  Joel  foretold  that  the  Redeemer  would 
send  down  the  Holy  Ghost :  "I  will  pour  out  my  spirit 
upon  all  flesh,  and  your  sons  and  your  daughters  shall 
prophesy."  (Chap,  ii,  28.) 

The  Saviour's  everlasting  priesthood  was  also  foretold 
in  these  words:  "  He  shall  be  a  priest  upon  his  throne7' 
(Zach.  vi,  13)  ;  "Thou  art  a  priest  forever,  according  to 
the  order  of  Melchisedech."  (Ps.  cix,  4.) 

The  prophets  also  foretold  the  conversion  of  the  Gentiles, 
and  the  foundation,  spread  and  duration  of  Christ's  Church, 
saying  that  the  Messiah  shall  be  the  light  of  the  Gentiles, 
and  that  all  nations  of  the  earth  shall  be  blessed  in  him  ; 
that  he  shall  establish  a  new  sacrifice,  and  a  new  priest 
hood,  and  found  a  kingdom  of  God,  reaching  from  sea  to 
sea,  to  the  end  of  the  earth,  which  shall  never  be  destroyed, 


but  shall  stand  forever.   (Mai.  i,  11 ;  Isa.  Ixvi,  21  j-  Jer.  iii, 
15;   Zach.  ix,  10;   Dan.  ii,  44,  and  vii,  14.) 

12.  Why  were  all  those  prophecies  made? 

They  were  made :  1 ,  to  keep  alive  man's  hope  in  tlie  Re 
deemer  to  come;  2,  to  prepare  him  to  receive  the  Redeemer. 

When  God  intends  to  do  something  very  extraordinary, 
lie  generally  prepares  men  for  it  by  revealing  to  them, 
beforehand,  what  he -is  about  to  do.  When  he  intended 
to  destroy  the  world 'by  the  Deluge,  he  made  it  known 
•through  Noe,  a  hundred  years  before  the  event  took  place. 
God  acts-  thus  with  men  because  he  does  not  wish  to 
overwhelm  them  by  his  strange  and  mysterious  dealings. 
Now  the  most  wonderful  thing  that  God  ever  decreed  is 
the  sending  of  the  Redeemer, — the  Incarnation  of  his  well- 
beloved  Son, — for  the  salvation  of  mankind.  From  the 
beginning  he  made  provision  that,  by  the  holy  patriarchs, 
the  hope  in  the  Redeemer  should  be  carefully  preserved 
am6ng  the  people.  But  the  nearer  the  time  apprdached 
for  his  coming,  the  more  did  God  the  Father  revexal, 
through  his  prophets,  portions  of  the  Jewish  history,  as 
well  as  what  regarded  the  religion  to  be  established  by 
the  Redeemer,  in  order  that  the  Jews,  seeing  in  their  own 
immediate  history  these  prophecies  verified  by  the  e^vent, 
might  find  in  them  an  evident  proof  of  the  prophecies 
regarding  the  Messiah  and  his  religion,  know  him  theVeby, 
and  receive  him  with  great  joy  and  gratitude.  These 
prophecies  were  made,  long  before  the  coming  of  the 
Redeemer,  for  Malachias,  the  last  of  the  prophets,  pro'- 
phesied  four  hundred  and  filfty  years  before  Christ.  They 
were  carefully  preserved  and  read  by  the  Jews  as  divine 
oracles  j  they  also  were  translated  into  different  languages, 
and  spread  among  the  pagan  nations.  Now  if  it  is  asked : 

GOD  THE  FATHER  OUR  TEACHER.          43 

13.  In- whom  were  all  those  prophecies  fulfilled? 

The  answer  is :  In  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God  ;  and 
in  Christ  were  also  fulfilled  all  those  figures  which  related 
to  or  typified  his  life,  as  ivill  be  seen  in .  the  next  instruction. 

14.  In  what  condition  was  mankind  at  the  coming  of 
the  Redeemer  ? 

,  With  the  exception  of  the  Jews,  all  mankind  had  fallen 
into  idolatry  and  all  kinds  of  vices-. 

God  the  Father  had  promised  a  Redeemer- 'to  our  first 
parents,  but  he  did  not  send  him  immediately  after  'their 
fall.  He  waited  about  four  thousand  years  before  sending 
him,  in  order  that  men  might  feel  their  weakness  and 
misery,  and  the  need  they  had  of  a  Redeemer,  sigh  for 
his  coming,  and  appreciate  the  great  blessings  which  they 
were  to  receive  through  him.  When  Christ  came  at 
length,  the  grossest  ignorance  and  immorality  prevailed 
everywhere.  The  true  God  was  hardly  known,  save  in 
one  single  corner  of  the  earth,  in  Judca :  and  even  there, 
how  very  few  knew  and  loved  him !  As  to  the  rest  of 
the  world,  some  worshipped  the  sun,  some  the  brutes,  some 
the  very  stones,  and  others  again  even  viler  creatures 
still ;  nay,  many  even  worshipped  the  very  demons  as 

Everywhere  there  reigned  the  night  of  sin  which  blinds 
souls,  and  hides  from  them  the  sight  of  the  miserable  state 
in  which  they  are  living  as  enemies  of  God,  condemned . 
to^hell.  The  most  degrading  vices  were  extolled  even  as 
virtues.  The  world  cried  for  light.  Men  could  no  longer 
see  their  way.  Why  are  we  here  ?  Who  made  us  ? 
Whither  are  we  going  ?  Whence  the  evil  in  the  world  f 
Why  have  we  a  desire  for  immortality  ?  Why  does  noth 
ing  on  earth  satisfy  us  ?  Why  our  yearning  for  perpetual 


happiness  ?  Such  were  the  questions  that  resounded 
everywhere — in  the  schools  of  philosophy,  in  the  forum,  in 
the  market-place,  in  the  temple,  at  the  fireside.  No  one 
could  answer  ;  and  yet  the  social,  domestic  and  religious 
happiness  of  the  world  was  at  stake  on  these  questions 
then,  as  it  is  now.  What  remedy  could  be  applied  to  heal 
such  inveterate  evils  of  the  mind  and  the  will  ?  Pagan 
philosophers,  poets  and  orators,  had  tried  their  best  to 
elevate  mankind  j  but  they  had  tried  in  vain.  It  had  be 
come  evident  to  all  that  no  human  means  were  adequate 
to  remedy  the  e"  vils  of  the  world,  and  make  mankind  triily 
happy.  "  God  himself, "  exclaimed  the  great  Plato, 
"  must  come  down  and  be  our  master  and  our  guide." 
(De  Legib.  1,  4.)  "  Yes,'7  say  the  fathers  of  the  Vatican 
Council,  "  if  any  one  shall  say  that  it  is  impossible  or  in 
expedient  that  man  should  be  taught  by  divine  revelation, 
concerning  God  and  the  worship  to  be  paid  to  him,  let 
him  be  accursed."  (Vatic.  Counc.  II,  can.  2.) 

God  had  tried,  in  many  ways,  to  make  the  pagans  return 
to  him,  and  do  penance  for  their  sins.  He  sent  the  terri 
ble  disaster  of  the  universal  deluge  ;  he  sent  fire  upoyn  the 
cities  of  Sodom  and  Gomorrha  j  he  chastised  Egypt, 
Chanaan,  and  many  other  places,  in  a  most  frightful  ma'n- 
ner.  He  made  prophets  and  other  holy  men  live  among 
them,  as  Daniel,  Jonas,  Job,  to  teach  them  by  word  and 
example  how  to  worship  the  true  God  and  be  saved :  u  He 
scattered  the  Israelites  among  the  Gentiles,  in  order  that 
they  might  declare  to  them  his  wonderful  works,  and  that 
there  is  no  other  Almighty  God  besides  him."  (Tob.  xiii, 
4.)  He  instructed  King  Nabuchodonosor  by  dreams,  Bal- 
tassar  by  a  mysterious  handwriting  on  the  wall  j  he  also 
spoke  to  the  pagans  by  the  inner  voice  of  their  conscience, 


and  by  natural  blessings,  "doing  good  to  them  from 
heaven,  giving  rains  and  fruitful  seasons."  (Acts  xiv,  16.) 
But  all  was  in  vain  with  the  greater  part  of  them.  They 
plunged  themselves  deeper  and  deeper  in  the  abyss  of 
idolatry  and  immorality.  Nothing  could  draw  them  from 
their  evil  ways,  and  stop  the  universal  corruption. 

But  mankind,  though  without  God,  and  estranged  from 
Mm,  everywhere  looked  anxiously  forward  to  the  coming 
of  ll  The  desired  of  nations,"  foretold  by  the  prophets,-— a 
season  annually  commemorated  by  the  Catholic  Church  in 
her  service  during  Advent,  when  she  sings  again  the  an 
them  of  the  prophet :  "  Drop  down  dew,  ye  heavens,  from 
above,  and  let  the  clouds  rain  the  Just ;  let  the  earth  be 
opened,  and  bud  forth  a  Saviour."  (Isa.  xlv,  8.)  The  "  ful 
ness  of  time  "  came  at  last.  "  The  light  shone  into  the  dark 
ness  :"  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God,  came  and  was  this 
light  by  his  holy  doctrine,  divine  example,  and  the  means 
which  he  gave  us  to  obtain  the  grace  of  God,  and  lead 
holy  lives. 

§  2. — GOD   THE  SON   OUR  TEACHER. 

1.  Through  whom  did  God  reveal  himself  most  clearly  1 

Through  his  only  Son,  Jesus  Christ,  whom  he  sent  to 
teach  us :  1,  what  ive  must  believe  ;  2,  what  we  must  do  ; 
3,  what  means  of  grace  we  must  use  to  be  saved. 

There  is  in  the  human  heart  a  craving,  a  necessity, 
to  have  God  for  teacher,  and  God  himself  satisfied  this 
Braving  which  he  implanted  in  the  human  heart.  God 


the  Father  spoke  to  our  first  parents  in  paradise  j  he  spoke 
to  the  patriarchs  and  prophets,  and  finally,  as  St.  Paul 
assures  us,  he  has  spoken,  for  the  last  time,  by  his  dnly- 
begotten  Son. 

But  merely  to  hear  the  voice  of  a  friend  is  not  enough, 
the  heart  longs  for  something  more  :  the  eyes  yearn  to  look 
upon  him.  God  knows  this  want  of  the  human  heart,  and 
he  has  satisfied  it.  The  prophets  besought  him,  again  and 
again,  to  show  himself:  "Show  us  thy  face,  0  Lord,  and 
we  shall  be  saved."  This,  too,  was  the  ardent  prayer  of 
Moses :  a  0  Lord !  show  me  thy  glory.'7  (Exod.  xxxiii, 

In  the  Old  Law  God  satisfied  this  desire,  by  manifesting 
his  presence  to  the  Israelites,  under  the  form  of  a  cloud 
and  a  pillar  of  fire.  He  next  commanded  an  ark  or 
tabernacle  to  be  made,  and  there  he  manifested  his  presence 
by  a  peculiar,  supernatural  light,  called  the  Shekinah. 
But  all  this  satisfied  neither  man's  heart,  nor  God's  un 
bounded  love.  If  we  love  a  person  dearly,  it  is  not  enough 
for  us  to  hear  his  voice,  or  to  see  him  in  disguise  :  we  wish 
to  behold  him  face  to  face.  God  gratified  even  this  desire. 
He  had  commanded  a  tabernacle  of  wood  to  be  made  by 
the  hand  of  man,  and  that  tabernacle  he  chose  for  his 
dwelling-place.  But  now,  when  the  fulness  of  time  was 
come,  when  God  had  decreed  to  send  his  Son  into  the 
world  that  we  might  be  rede'emed  and  adopted  as  children  ; 
then,  with  his  own  divine  hands,  he  made  a  living  taber 
nacle,  holy  and  spotless,  the  Immaculate  Virgin  Mary, 
and  in  that  tabernacle  he  took  up  his  abode.  There  he 
formed  for  himself  a  human  body  and  soul :  u  Thence  he 
came  forth  and  appeared,"  as  St.  Augustine  says,  "  to  men, 
to  a  world  in  the  decline  of  old  age,  and  in  the  throes  of 


death,  in  order  that,  while  everything  about  them 
rapidly  going  to  decay,  he  might,  by  his  presence,  infuse 
into  all  new  life  and  fresh  vigor.'7  In  becoming  man,  God 
revealed  himself  most  clearly.  Men  saw  God?  heard  -God7 
even  touched  God. 

2.  JIow  do  we  know  that  Jesus  Christ  is  the  promised 
Redeemer,  and  the  Son  of  God  ? 

We  learn  it  :  1,  from  the  mouths  of  the  prophets:  2, 
from  the  declarations  of  the  angels  ;  3,  from  the  testimony 
of  his  heavenly  Father  ;  and,  4,  from  his  oivn  testimony. 

The  prophets  had  foretold  the  coming  of  a  great  king, 
but  not  a  king  of  this  world  ;  Otherwise  they  would  not 
have  described  him  as  the  "  reproach  of  men,  and  the  out 
cast  of  the  people  r  (Ps.  xxi,  7),  nor  called  him  u  a  man 
of  sorrows."  (Tsa.  liii,  3,  4.)  They  promised  a  king  of  a 
spiritual  and  supernatural  kingdom  which  was  to  begin 
and  spread  over  the  earth,  to  be  consummated  o'nly  in 
heaven.  Now,  what  the  prophets  had  foretold  of  the 

/  f  -  I  rJ 

Redeemer,  was  all  visibly  and  historically  fulfilled  in 
Christ,  the  son  of  God  ;  and  to  deny  this  true  and  real  ful 
filment  of  prophecy  in  the  person,  the  life  and  the  death  of 
Christ,  and  the  effect  of  his  life,  death,  and  teaching,  on  the 
world,  is  to  deny  the  value  of  all  testimony,  and  the  truth 
of  all  history.  Jesus  Christ  came  at  the  time  foretold  by 
the  prophets  ;  he  lived,  suffered  and  died,  in  the  manner 
foretold  by  the  prophets  5  he  rose  from  the  dead,  asce'nded 
into  heaven,  and  founded  an  everlasting  kingdom,  —  the 
Church,  —  as  was  foretold  by  the  prophets.  And  not  only 
do  we  see  fulfilled  in  Christ  the  prophecies  regarding  the 
Redeemer,  but  we  see  also  fulfilled  in  him  all  the  figures 
by  which  the  deeds  and  sufferings  of  the  Redeemer  were 
indicated  many  centuries  before.  The  principal  types 


or  figures  of  Jesus  Christ  are,  Abel,  Noe,  Isaac,  Joseph, 
and  Jonas.  Abel  is  a  figure  of  the  Messiah,  because  he 
offered  sacrifice,  was  killed  by  his  own  brother,  and  be 
cause  his  blood  cried  aloud  to  heaven  for  vengeance. 
Our  Lord  offered  sacrifice,  was  put  to  death  by  the  Jews, 
his  brethren,  and  his  blood  cried  to  heaven  for  mercy, 
Abel's  murderer  became  a  vagabond  on  the  face  of  the 
earth  ;  the  murderers  of  our  Lord  are  condemned  to  wan 
der  over  the  earth  without  priest,  without  king,  without 
sacrifice.  Noe  is  a  figure  of  Jesus  Christ.  "  Noe  "  sig 
nifies  consoler ;  " Jesus  "  signifies  saviour.  Noe  alone  finds 
grace  before  God  j  our  Lord  alone  finds  grace  before  his 
Father.  Noe  built  an  ark,  which  saved  him  and  his 
family  from  the  Deluge ;  our  Lord  built  a  Church,  to  save 
from  eternal  death  all  who  are  willing  to  enter  it.  Isaac 
is  a  figure  of  Jesus  Christ.  Isaac  is  the  well-beloved  son 
of  his  father ;  our  Lord  is  the  well-beloved  son  of  the 
Eternal.  Isaac,  though  innocent,  is  condemned  to  death, 
is  to  be  sacrificed  by  his  father,  and  must  himself  caYry 
the  wood  j  Jesus  Christ  is  innocently  condemned  to  death  ; 
is  immolated  by  his  Father,  through  the  hands  of  the  Jews, 
and  carries  on  his  shoulders  the  wood  of  the  cross. 
When  Isaac  was  tied  to  the  pile,  he  did  not  a  murmur 
and  when  our  Saviour  was  tied  to  a  pillar,  he  did  not  com 
plain.  Joseph,  too,  is  a  figure  of  the  Redeemer.  Joseph, 
the  well-beloved  son  of  his  father,  is  sold  by  his  brethren 
to  strange  merchants,  is  condemned  for  a  crime  of  which 
he  is  innocent,  is  found  in  a  prison  with  two  criminals, 
to  one  of  whom  he  announces  pardon,  to  the  other 
punishment.  Our  Lord,  the  beloved  son  of  his  Father,  is 
maltreated  by  his  brethren,  the  Jews  j  is  sold  by  Judas, 
aiid  given  up  to  the  Romans  j  is  condemned  for  crimes  of 


which  he  is  innocent ;  is  placed  on  a  cross  between  two 
criminals  ;  promises  heaven  to  one,  and  leaves  the  other 
to  his  perdition.  And  as  Joseph  passed  from  a  prison 
to  a  throne,  so  our  Lord  passed  from  the  cross  to  the 
throne  of  God.  Jonas,  who  remained  three  days  in  the 
whale,  and  was  delivered  from  it,  is  a  figure  of  Jesus 
remaining  three  days  in  the  grave,  and  then  arising 

from  it. 

j  f 

From  the  writings  of  their  own  prophets  Christ  proved 
to  the  Jews  that  he  was  the  Redeemer  promised  and 
expected  from  the  beginning  of  the  world  :  "  Search  the 
Scriptures,"  said  he  to  the  Jews,  "and  the  same  are  they 
that  give  testimony  of  me."  (John  v,  39.)  He  also  con 
vinced  the  unbelieving  disciples  from  the  writings  of  the 
prophets,  saying  to  them :  "  0  foolish  and  slow  of  heart 
to  believe  in  all  things  which  the  prophets  have  spoken. 
Ought  not  Christ  to  have  suffered  these  things,  and  so  to 
enter  into  his  glory  ?  And  beginning  at  Moses  and  all  the 
prophets,  he  expounded  to  them  in  all  the  Scriptures 
the  things  concerning  him."  (Luke  xxiv,  25—28.) 

From  the  same  writings  of  the  prophets  Christ  proved 
also  that  he  was  God  ;  for  the  prophets  call  the  Redeemer  : 
"  God,  God  with  us,  the  Wonderful,  the  Father  of  the 
world  to  come  the  Lord,  Jehova,  our  Just  One,"  etc.  (Isa. 
14 ;  ix,  6  ;  xxxv,  4  j  Dan.  ix,  24 ;  Jer.  xxiii,  6.) 

The  angels,  too,  bore  witness  that  Christ  was  God  and 
the  Saviour  of  the  world.  The  angel  Gabriel  said  to  the 
Blessed  Virgin :  "  The  Holy  Ghost  shall  come  upon 
thee,  and  the  power  of  the  Most  High  shall  overshadow 
thee.  And  therefore,  also,  the  Holy  which  shall  be  born  of 
thee,  shall  be  called  the  Son  of  God."  (Luke  i,  35.) 
"  Thou  shalt  call  his  name  Jesus,"  said  the  angel  to  St. 


Joseph,  ll  for  he  shall  save  his  people  from  their  sins." 
(Matt.  i,  xxi.) 

When  Christ  was  born,  an  a^igel  appeared  to  the  shep 
herds,  saying  :  "Fear  not;  for,  behold,  I  bring  you  good 
tidings  of  great  joy,  that  shall  be  to  all  the  pe'ople.  For 
this  day  is  born  to  you  a  Saviour,  who  is  Christ  the  Lord.77 
(Luke  ii,  8-11.) 

But  Jesus  had  still  a  greater  witness  to  prove  that  he 
is  the  Son  of  God.  At  his  baptism,  and  on  Mount 
Thabor,  God  the  Father  himself,  by  a  voice  from  heaven, 
recognized  him  as  his  well-beloved  Son,  whom  all  were 
to  hear.  (Matt  iii,  17;  xvii,  5.) 

God  the  Father  revealed  also  to  St.  Peter  that  Christ 
is  the  Son  of  God.  When  Christ  asked  the  apdstles, 
"  Who  do  you  say  that  I  am  ?  "  Simon  Peter  answered, 
"  Thou  art  Christ,  the  son  of  the  living  God."  And  Je&us 
said  to  him  :  u  Blessed  art  thou,  Simon,  because  flesh  and 
blood  hath  not  revealed  it  to  thee,  but  my  Father  who  is 
in  heaven."  (Matt,  xvi,  16—17.) 

But  Christ  had  still  stronger  arguments  to  prove  that 
he  is  the  Redeemer  and  the  Son  of  God,  and  equal  to 
his  Father  in  all  things.  He  confirmed  his  doctrine  by 
many  miracles.  Hence  Christ  said  to  those  who  doubted 
his  word :  "  If  you  will  not  believe  me  (my  word), 
believe  my  works,  that  you  may  know  and  believe  that 
the  Father  is  in  me,  and  I  in  the  Father."  (John  x,  38.) 
The  miracles  by  which  Jesus  Christ  proved  that  he  is 
God  and  the  promised  Redeemer,  are  clear,  palpable, 
many  in  number,  and  of  varioujs  kinds.  Heaven  and 
earth  obeyed  his  voice.  He  restored  sight  to  the  blind, 
hearing  to  the  deaf,  and  speech  to  the  dumb.  A  dumb 
man,  possessed  by  the  devil,  is  presented  to  him.  By  a 


mere  act  of  his  will,  Christ  casts  out  the  devil,  and  the 
dumb  man  speaks.  There  is  no  disease  that  he  does  not 
cure,  no  evil  that  he  does  not  remedy.  The  lepers  are 
made  clean,  the  lame  walk,  the  dead  arise  at  his  touch  or 
bidding  :  "  Young  man,  arise  !"  said  he  to  the  widow's  son, 
and  the  young  man  was  restored  to  life.  u  Lazarus,  come 
forth  !"  he  cried  out,  and  Lazarus,  dead  for  some  days, 
arose  from  the  grave.  By  his  will,  water  is  changed  into 
wine,  at  the  wedding-feast  in  Cana ;  the  winds  and  waves 
become  calm  ;  the  devils  leave  the  persons  they  possessed  j 
a  few  loaves  of  bread  are  multiplied  so  as  to  feed  five  thou 
sand  persons,  and  fill  twelve  baskets  with  the  fragments 
which  remained.  Whilst  he  was  hanging  on  the  cross, 
the  sun  acknowledged  him  for  its  Lord  and  Creator,  by 
withholding  its  light,  and  the  whole  world  was  enveloped  in 
great  darkness  j  the  rocks,  by  rending  asunder  j  the  whole 
earth,  by  shaking  •  death,  by  letting  many  persons  who  had 
been  dead,  leave  their  graves  alive,  and  appear  to  their 
friends  in  Jerusalem ;  the  centurion  and  his  soldiers,  by 
exclaiming,  "Indeed  this  was  the  Son  of  God."  (Matt, 
xxvii,  54.) 

Christ,  by  his  own  power,  rose  from  the  dead,  asce'nded 
into  heaven,  whence  he  wrought  many  miracles  through 
his  apostles  and  the  martyrs,  teaching  and  professing 
their  faith  in  his  divinity.  One  of  these  miracles  is  most 
remarkable.  It  happened  in  Africa,  in  484,  and  is  attested 
by  most  reliable  eye-witnesses :  Hurich,  king  of  the 
Arian  vandals,  most  cruelly  persecuted  those  who  believed 
in  the  divinity  of  Jesus  Christ:  he  had  the  tongues  of 
the  Christians  of  Tipasa  cut  out  ;  yet  they  spoke  without 
tongues  as  distinctly  and  fluently  as  before,  and  proclaimed 
everywhere  that  Jesus  Christ  is  true  God,  and  equal  to  the 


Father.  About  sixty  of  these  Christians  fled  to  Constan 
tinople,  where  all  the  inhabitants  saw  them,  and  heard 
them  speak  daily  for  many  years. 

But  Christ  proved  himself  to  be  the  Messiah  and  the 
Son  of  God,  not  alone  by  stupendous  miracles.  He  also 
proved  the  truth  of  his  assertions  by  foretelling  such 
things  as  God  alone  can  know ;  for  instance :  his  betrayal 
by  Judas,  and  his  denial  by  Peter  f  the  manner  of  his 
death  ;  his  resurrection  from  the  dead ;  his  ascension  into 
heaven,  and  the  spreading  of  his  doctrine  over  the  whole 
earth.  One  of  the  most  striking  prophecies  of  Christ 
which  we  see  accomplished  is  this :  Jesus  Christ  foretold 
that  the  temple  of  Jerusalem  would  be  so  totally  de 
stroyed,  that  not  even  one  stone  should  be  left  on  another. 
Julian  the  Apostate,  in  order  to  fix  on  Jesus  Christ  the 
brand  of  imposture,  and  thus  to  bring  the  Christian 
religion  into  disrepute,  formed  the  project  of  rebuilding 
the  Jewish  temple,  which,  if  he  could  have  carried  out, 
would  have  sufficiently  answered  his  wicked  design.  He 
accordingly  commanded  the  Jews  to  repair  to  Jerusalem, 
to  rebuild  their  ancient  temple,  and  reestablish  their 
ancient  worship.  The  news  that  the  temple  was  to  be 
rebuilt,  was  no  sooner  spread  abroad  than  contributions 
came  in  from  all  hands.  The  Jewish  women  stript  them 
selves  of  their  most  costly  ornaments,  to  contribute  toward 
the  expense  of  the  building:  they  even  helped  to  dig  the 
ground,  and  carry  out  the  rubbish  in  their  aprons  and  the 
skirts  of  their  gowns.  It  is  also  told  that  the  Jews 
appointed  some  pickaxes,  spades,  and  baskets  to  be  made 
of  silver,  for  the  honor  of  the  work.  The  po'wer  of  Julian, 
the  exertions  of  the  chief  overseer,  Alypius,  the  rage  and 
insolence  of  the  Jews  and  pagans,  plunged  the  disciples 


of  our  Lord  into  the  most  profound  grief.  But  the  good 
bishop,  St.  Cyril,  lately  returned  from  exile,  consoled  them 
by  telling  them  that  the  power  of  God  would  prostrate 
Julian's  wicked  design,  that  the  desolation  of  the  temple 
should  last  to  the  end,  and  that  the  Jews  would  not  be 
able  to  put  one  stone  upon  another.  The  old  foundations, 
and  some  ruins  of  the  walls  of  the  temple,  were  first 
removed.  Then  they  began  to  dig  the  new  foundation, 
on  which  work  many  thousands  were  employed.  But 
what  they  had  thrown  up  in  the  day,  was,  by  repeated 
earthquakes,  cast  back  again  the  night  following  into  the 
trench.  "  And  when  Alypius  the  next  day,"  says 
Ammianus  Marcellinus,  "  earnestly  pressed  on  the  work, 
with  the  assistance  of  the  governor  of  the  province,  there 
issued  such  hbrrible  balls  of  fire  out  of  the  earth  near  the 
foundations,  as  rendered  the  place,  from  time  to  time,  inac 
cessible  to  the  scorched  and  blasted  workmen.  And  the 
victorious  element  continuing  in  this  manner,  obstinately 
and  resolutely  bent,  as  it  were,  to  drive  them  to  a  distance, 
Alypius  thought  proper  to  give  over  the  enterprise." 
Besides  the  earthquakes  and  fiery  eruptions,  Christian 
writers  make  mention  of  storms,  tempests,  whirlwinds, 
lightning,  crosses  impressed  on  the  bodies  and  garments 
of  the  assistants,  and  a  flaming  cross  in  the  heavens,  sur 
rounded  with  a  luminous  circle.  The  infidels  attempted 
to  wash  out  the  shining  crosses  that  were  impressed  on 
the  bodies  and  garments  of  those  assisting  at  the  rebuild 
ing  of  the  temple,  and  in  which  there  was  something  that 
in  art  and  elegance  exceeded  all  painting  and  embroidery  : 
but  it  was  increased  by  the  fiery  eruption,  which  was 
frequently  renewed,  till  it  overcame  the  rashness  of  the 
most  obdurate,  for  it  continued  to  be  repeated  as  often  as 

54  GOD   THE    SON   OUR   TEACHER. 

the  projectors  ventured  to  renew  their  attempt.  Socrates 
tells  us  that  at  sight  of  the  miracles  the  Jews  at  first  cried 
out  that  Christ  is  God,  yet  returned  home  as  hardened 
as  ever.  St.  Gregory  Nazianzen  says  that  many  Gentiles 
were  converted,  and  became  Christians. 

Christ's  doctrine  having  been  confirmed  by  miracles 
and  prophecies,  and  accompanied  by  a  sinless  life  and  by 
works  of  love  and  mercy  (Matt,  iv,  23  ;  Acts  x,  38,) 
was  received  as  the  teaching  of  God  the  Father  himself 
by  those  whose  hearts  were  well  disposed  toward  so  holy 
a  doctrine.  Hence  the  people  exclaimed  that  Christ 
taught  as  one  having  authority,  and  not  as  their  Scribes 
and  Pharisees.  (Matt,  vii,  28.) 

3.  Whom  did  Christ  appoint  to  teach  his  doctrine  to  all 
nations  ? 

Christ  appointed  the  apostles  and  their  lawful  successors 
to  teach  all  nations. 

It  was  the  will  of  the  heavenly  Father  that  no  one 
should  be  saved  unless  through  Christ,  his  well-beldved 
Son ;  that  is,  through  faith  in  his  d6ctrine,  through  hope 
in  his  merits,  through  clmrity  toward  God  and  all  men, 
through  the  sacraments  and  prayer,  as  means  of  grace, 
and  through  obedience  to  his  .orders :  "I  am  the  way, 
and  the  truth,  and  the  life,"  says  Jesus.  "  No  one  cometh 
to  the  Father,  but  by  me."  (John  xiv,  6.)  But  Christ  did 
not  wish  to  live  forever  in  the  flesh,  in  this  world,  to 
teach  and  sanctify  all  nations.  So,  from  among  his 
followers,  he  chose  twelve  men  to  be  the  witnesses  of  what 
he  taught  and  did.  As  he  intended  to  send  them  to  teach 
all  nations  in  his  name,  he  called  them  apostles,  which 
means  messengers,  giving  them  to  understand  that  he  had 
chosen  them  to  preach  to  all  nations  what  they  had  seen  of, 


and  heard  from  him.  Therefore,  he  said  to  them  :  u  You 
shall  be  witnesses  unto  me  in  Jerusalem,  and  in  all  Judea 
and  Samaria,  and  even  to  the  uttermost  part  of  the  earth." 
(Acts  i,  8.) 

4*  How  were  the  apostles  prepared  for  their  divine 
mission  ? 

1 ,  Christ  himself  instructed  them  in  his  doctrine ;  2,  lie 
promised  them  the  Holy  Ghost ;  3,  he  gave  them  his  own 


One  day  the  Lord  said  to  the  prophet  Jeremias: 
"  Before  thou  wast  born,  I  knew  thee  and  sanctified  thee, 
and  made  thee  a  prophet  unto  the  nations."  Jeremias, 
thinking  that  he  was  not  able  to  preach  to  the  nations, 
said :  "  Ah,  ah,  ah,  Lord !  behold  I  cannot  speak,  for  I 
am  a  child."  To  this  excuse  the  Lord  replied  :  "  Say 
not,  I  am  a  child  j  for  thou  shalt  go  to  all  that  I  shall  send 
thee,  and  whatsoever  I  shall  command  thee,  thou  shalt 
speak.  Be  not  afraid  at  their  presence,  for  I  am  with 
thee  to  deliver  thee."  And  then  the  Lord  put  forth  his 
hand,  and  touched  the  mouth  of  the  pro'phet,  and  said  to 
him  :  "  Behold  I  have  given  my  words  in  thy  mouth. 
Lo  !  I  have  set  thee  this  day  over  the  nations,  and  over 
kingdoms,  to  root  up,  and  to  pull  down,  and  to  waste,  and 
to  destroy,  and  to  build,  and  to  plant."  (Jer.  i,  5-10.) 
By  these  words  of  the  Lord  the  prophet  Jeremias  felt 
encouraged  to  go  and  preach  to  the  nations.  The  apos 
tles  had  to  be  encouraged  in  the  same  manner.  Like 
Jeremias,  they  could  say  to  our  Lord,  when  he  wished  them 
to  go  on  this  hitherto  unheard-of  and  seemingly  impossible 
mission  :  <*  Ah,  ah,  ah,  Lord  !  behold,  we  cannot  speak  ;  " 
we  are  ignorant  men,  children  as  it  were,  having  no 
courage  for  so  awful  an  office.  But  Christ  consoled  and 


encouraged  them.  After  he  had  taught  them  for  three 
years  and  a  half,  and  during  forty  days  after  his  resurr^c- 
tion,  he  could  say  to  them,  as  was  said  to  Jeremias,  viz.  : 
" Behold,  I  have  given  my  words  in  thy  mouth."  "Behold," 
said  Jesus  to  the  apostles,  "  all  things  whatsoever  I  have 
heard  of  my  Father,  I  have  made  known  to  you." 
(John  xv,  15.)  But  you  may  tell  me:  "  We  are  but  a 
few  poor  fishermen,  without  human  learning,  without 
wealth,  without  worldly  influence  or  natural  eloquence, 
without  any  human  qualification  whatever  for  so  vast  an 
undertaking  ;  we  have  but  our  foolishness  to  confound  the 
learning  and  philosophy  of  Greece  and  Rome,  to  silence 
oracles,  to  destroy  the  impure  orgies  of  Paganism,  to 
reclaim  all  mankind  from  evil  ways,  and  to  plant,  on 
the  ruins  of  a  gigantic  idolatry  which  possesses  the  world, 
the  bright,  the  glorious,  the  unsullied  banner  of  the  cross. 
Who  will  listen  to  us  when  we  preach  to  a  wicked  world 
thy  doctrine,  which  is  so  contrary  to  all  human  passions 
and  evil  inclinations  ?  How  can  we,  a  handful  of  poor, 
ignorant,  unarmed  men,  withstand  and  overcome  a  hostile 
world  ?  And  how  shall  we  be  able  to  remember  and 
rightly  comprehend  all  that  thou  hast  taught  us,  forgetful 
and  slow  of  understanding  as  we  are  ?  "  But  I  say  to  you, 
fear  not,  for,  "  the  Comforter,  the  Holy  Ghost,  whom  the 
Father  will  send  in  my  name,  he  will  teach  you  all 
things,  and  bring  all  things  to  your  mind,  whatsoever  I 
shall  have  said  to  you."  (John  xiv,  26.)  He  is  the  "  Com 
forter  ;  "  he  will  give  you  such  courage  and  wisdom,  and 
knowledge  and  strength,  as  no  power  on  earth  can  cope 
with.  I  send  you  clothed  with  the  same  powers  with 
which  I  myself  have  been  invested  by  my  heavenly  Faiher  : 
ii  All  power  is  given  to  me  in  heaven  and  on  earth.  As  the 

GOD   THE    SON    OUR   TEACHER.  57 

Father  hath  sent  me,  I  also  send  you."  (Matt,  xxviii,  18  ; 
John  xx,  21.) 
5.  What  were  those  powers  of  Christ  ? 

1,  His  power  as  teacher  ;  2,  his  power  as  priest ;  3,  his 
power  as  ruler. 

We  find,  in  the  thirty-first  chapter  of  Deuteronomy,  that, 
when  Moses  had  written  the  law  of  God  in  a  book,  he 
gave  this  book  to  the  Levites,  and  commanded  them  to 
place  it  in  the  tabernacle,  beside  the  ark  of  the  covenant, 
as  a  testimony  against  Israel.  On  another  occasion,  when 
many  of  the  Israelites  rebelled  against  Moses  and  Aaron, 
and  wished  to  claim  a  share  in  the  priestly  authority,  God 
ordered  twelve  rods,  each  bearing  the  name  of  one  of  the 
tribes,  to  be  placed  in  the  tabernacle,  together  with  the 
rod  of  Aaron.  On  the  next  morning  it  was  found  that 
Aaron's  rod  alo'ne  bloomed,  and  brought  forth  fruit.  This 
miraculous  rod  was  the  emblem  of  authority.  It  was  a 
witness  that  God  had  confided  the  spiritual  rule  to  Aaron 
and  his  lawful  successors,  and  to  them  alone.  This  rod 
was  also  placed  in  the  tabernacle  beside  the  law  of  God. 
On  another  occasion,  God  ordered  a  vessel  filled  with 
manna,  — that  miraculous  bread  from  heaven, — to  be  placed 
beside  the  law  of  God  and  the  rod  of  Aaron. 

These  three  things, — the  book,  the  rod,  and  the  manna, — 
signify  the  three  distinct  powers  which  God  conferred 
upon  the  priests  of  the  Old  Law.  The  book  signifies  the 
office  of  teacher  ;  the  rod  signifies  the  office  of  visible 
head  or  ruler;  and  the  manna  signifies  the  grace  of  God, 
which  was  given  to  the  Israelites  through  the  ministry  of 
the  priests.  The  three  offices,  then,  of  teacher,  of  priest, 
and  of  ruler,  or  visible  head,  existed  in  the  Jewish  Church 
of  the  Old  Law,  when  our  divine  Saviour  came  on  earth. 


Our  divine  Redeemer  confirmed  and  consecrated  these 
three  offices,  by  uniting  them  in  his  own  divine  person. 
He  was  a  teacher,  he  was  a  priest,  and  he  was  a  king. 
He  was  the  teacher  of  nations,  the  light  of  the  world. 
He  taught  all  men  what  they  must  believe,  what  they 
must  do,  and  what  means  they  must  use  to  obtain  and 
preserve  the  grace  of  God.  He  was  a  priest  forever, 
according  to  the  order  of  Melchisedech.  He  was,  as  the 
prophet  foretold,  and  as  he  himself  declared,  the  king 
of  an  everlasting  kingdom.  As  teacher,  he  taught  us 
that  to  know  and  do  the  will  of  his  heavenly  F/ther 
was  the  only  way  to  heaven  ;  as  priest,  he  sacrificed  his 
life  upon  the  cross,  and  thereby  obtained  for  men  the 
graces  necessary  for  salvation  5  as  ruler,  or  king  of  an 
everlasting  kingdom,  he  declared  that  all  men  had  to 
believe  and  to  do  wrhat  he  taught  them,  if  they  would  be 

6, ,  What  did  Christ  call  the  apostles  and  those  who 
believed  in  him  ? 

He  called  them  his  Church,  of  which  he  is  the  invisible 

Our  dear  Saviour  sowed  the  seeds  of  his  divine  doctrine, 
and  watered  them  with  his  blood.  But  he  himself  made 
very  few  converts.  He  left  the  conversion  of  the  world 

9  f  '  / 

mainly  to  his  apostles  and  to  their  lawful  successors. 
Nevertheless,  he  had  made  a  sufficient  number  of  converts 
to  form  of  them  a  well-organized  society,  which  he  callec 
his  Church,  or  his  kingdom  on  earth.  This  society  con 
sisted  of  the  immaculate  Virgin  Mary,  twelve  apostles 
seventy-two  disciples,  and  some  other  followers  of  our 
divine  Saviour,  with  Christ  himself  as  its  chief  teacher, 
pontiff  and  ruler :  for,  "  God  the  Father/7  says  St.  Paul, 

GOD    THE    SON    OUR   TEACHER.  59 

"hath  made  Christ  the  head  over  all  the  Church."  (Eph. 
i,  17—22.)  But  when  the  time  drew  near  for  our  Saviour 
to  return  to  heaven,  he  appointed  one  of  his  apostles  to 
take  his  place  as  visible  head  arid  chief  pastor  on  earth, 
he  himself  continuing  to  be  the  invisible  head  of  the 
Church  in  heaven. 

The  community  of  the  apostles  and  the  Other  true 
believers  formed  the  visible  body  of  the  Church  of  Christ  j 
and  a  visible  body  or  society  must  have  a  visible  head. 
It  is  in  the  nature  of  things  that  this  should  be  so :  there 
never  has  been,  and  never  can  be,  a  living,  active,  organ 
ized  body  without  a  living  head.  Reason  and  experience 
teach  us  that  there  can  be  no  order,  no  law,  no  civilization, 
without  some  final  authority  which,  of  its  very  nature,  must 
be  supreme ;  in  other  words,  supreme  authority  is  the 
foundation  of  order  and  law.  We  see  the  necessity  of  such 
authority  whithersoever  we  turn.  Every  ship  must  have 
its  ca'ptain.  Every  railroad  engine  must  have  its  engineer. 
In  every  society  we  find  a  president.  In  every  govern 
ment  there  must  be  a  president  or  a  monarch.  Even 
amongst  the  brute  beasts  or  the  tiny  insects  we  find  the 
principle  of  authority  in  practice.  We  find,  for  instance, 
that  ants  and  bees  have  their  queen  or  supreme  ruler. 
Now  the  same  God  who  gave  so  wonderful  an  order 
to  nature,  the  same  God  who  planted  in  our  reason 
the  principle  of  order  and  authority,  must  observe  this 
magnificent  and  necessary  law  in  the  greatest  of  his 
works, — the  establishment  of  his  Church,  or  kingdom 
on  earth.  Nothing,  therefore,  ca,n  be  more  natural  than 
to  find  that  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  appointed  one  of 
his  apostles  to  be  the  visible  head  and  chief  pastor  of  \\is 

60  GOD   THE    SON   OUR   TEACHER. 

.  7.  Whom  did  Christ  appoint  to  take  his  place  ? 

Christ  appointed  the  apostle  St.  Peter  to  be  the  visible 
head  and  chief  pastor  of  his  Church. 

Christ  compared  his  Church  to  a  house,  and  made  St, 
Peter  its  foundation,  saying :  "  Thou  art  Peter  (that  is,  a 
rock),  and  upon  this  rock  I  will  build  my  Church." 
(Matt,  xvi,  18.)  He  compared  his  Church  to  a  flock,  and 
made  Peter  its  chief  shepherd,  saying  :  "  Feed  my  lambs, 
feed  my  sheep."  (John  xxi,  15-17.)  By  lambs,  Christ 
means  the  faithful ;  and  by  sheep,  the  pastors.  To  Pester, 
therefore,  Christ  intrusted  both  the  pastors  and  the  faith 
ful,  when  he  said,  "  Feed  my  lambs,  feed  my  sheep." 
Peter,  being  made  the  head  and  chief  pastor  of  the  Church, 
received  also  from  Christ  greater  powers  than  the  rest  of 
the  apostles.  To  him  he  gave  the  poVer  to  make  laws  for 
all  the  pastors,  as  well  as  for  all  the  faithful,  and  to  enforce 
those  laws,  saying :  "  I  will  give  to  thee  the  keys  of  the 
kingdom  of  heaven,  and  whatsoever  thou  shalt  bind 
upon  earth,  it  shall  be  bound  also  in  heaven  j  and  what 
soever  thou  shalt  loose  upon  earth,  it  shall  be  loosed  also 
in  heaven."  (Matt,  xvi,  18-19.)  There  is  no  possibility  of 
mistaking  or  explaining  away  the  plain,  emphatic  words 
of  Christ  to  Peter  by  which  he  invested  him  with  the 
prerogatives  of  the  head  of  his  Church. 

By  virtue  of  this  supreme  power,  Peter  called  the  dis 
ciples  together,  and  presided  over  the  council  which  they 
held  in  Jerusalem  to  elect  a  new  apostle  in  the  place  of 
Judas  :  and  the  council  readily  recognized  this  power.  It 
was  Peter  who  first  preached  Jesus  crucified,  and  converted, 
by  his  sermon,  three  thousand  persons.  It  was  Peter  who 
first  declared  that  the  Gentiles  were  to  be  admitted  to 
baptism,  according  to  a  revelation  wWeh  h§  had  received. 


Peter,  too,  first  decided,  in  an  assembly  of  the  apostles  at 
Jerusalem,  that  the  Christians  were  no  longer  to  be  sub 
jected  to  the  Jewish  law  of  circumcision  ;  and  the  assembly 
bowed  to  his  decision.  From  all  this  we  clearly  see  that 
Peter  was  the  head  of  the  Church ;  because  on  all  those 
occasions  he  exercised  the  office  of  Supreme  Head  of  the 
Church  of  Christ,  and  no  man  questioned  it. 

The  apostles  and  their  lawful  successors  acknow 
ledged  Peter  as  the  head  of  the  Church.  When  the 
evangelists  give  the  names  of  the  apostles,  they  always 
name  Peter  first :  for  instance,  when  St.  Matthew  gives  us 
the  names  of  the  apostles,  he  says :  "  The  names  of  the 
twelve  apostles :  The  first,  Simon  who  is  called  P^ter." 
(Matt,  x,  2.)  Now  it  cannot  be  said  that  Peter  was  always 
named  first,  either  because  he  was  the  eldest,  or  because 
he  had  been  called  to  the  apostleship  before  the  rest,  for 
St  Andrew  was  both  older  than.  Peter,  and  had  become  a 
disciple  of  Christ  before  him.  The  true  reason,  therefore, 
why  the  evangelists  always  name  Peter  first,  is  because 
he  held  the  first  or  highest  office  in  the  Church.  Hence 
the  Fathers  of  the  General  Council  of  Ephesus,  A.  D. 
431,  say:  "It  is  known  in  all  ages  that  Peter  was  the 
prince  and  the  head  of  the  apostles,  the  foundation-stone 
of  the  Catholic  Church.  This  is  a  fact  which  no  one 

8.  What  power  had  the  other  apostles  as  teachers? 

They  had  the i power  to  preach  Christ's  doctrine,  and  to 
be  judges  in  matters  of  faith  and  morals. 

When  Christ  said  to  his  apostles,  "  Go  and  teach  all  na 
tions,  teaching  them  to  observe  all  things  whatsoever  I  have 
commanded  you"  (Matt,  xxviii,  19-20),  he  empowered 
the  apostles  to  spread  abroad,  explain,  and  preserve  his 


holy  doctrines,  pure  and  uncorrupted,  and  to  condemn  and 
reject  all  false  teachings  j  he  empowered  them  to  inveigh 
against  crime  and  to  encourage  virtue  j  to  trace  out  to 
every  one  his  individual  duties,  to  monarchs  as  well  as  to 
their  subjects,  to  the  learned  and  to  the  ignorant,  to  the 
rich  and  to  the  poor,  to  the  just  and  to  the  sinner ;  he 
empowered  them  to  offer  to  all  men  instruction,  counsel,  and 
hope  f  to  encourage  the  good,  to  exhort  the  weak,  to  con 
vert  the  sinner,  to  speak  of  the  sweet  consolations  of  the  just, 
and  to  describe  the  fearful  state  of  the  impenitent  sinner ; 
he  empowered  them  to  condemn  and  reject  all  false  prin 
ciples,  impious  writings  of  every  description,  wicked 
societies.  In  a  word,  Christ  empowered  the  apostles  to 
proclaim  his  doctrine,  everywhere,  one  and  the  same  j  to 
defend  his  rights  on  earth  against  every  enemy ;  to  resist 
with  all  their  might  the  passions  and  evil  tendencies  of 
nations,  communities,  or  individuals ;  to  make  constitu 
tions  and  decrees  conducive  to  the^  preservation  of  faith 
and  morals,  and  even  to  proscribe  such  opinions  as 
approach,  more  or  less  closely,  open  heresy. 

9.  What  power  had  the  apostles  as  priests? 

They  had  the,  power  to  offer  up  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the 
Mass,  to  administer  the  sacraments,  and  to  perform  other 
priestly  duties. 

When  Christ  said  to  the  apostles  at  the  last  supper, 
"Do  this  (that  is,  offer  the  unbloody  sacrifice  which  I 
have  offered)  for  a  commemoration  of  me  "  (Luke  xxii, 
19),  he  empowered  them  to  change  bread  and  wine  into  his 
bo'dy  and  blood  by  the  words  of  consecration,  and  offer 
him  to  the  heavenly  Father,  under  the  appearance  of 
bread  and  wine.  Thus  Christ  gave  to  the  apostles  power 
over  his  own  sacred  body,  power  over  himself.  The 

GOD    THE    SON    OUR   TEACHER.  63 

eternal,  omnipotent  God,  in  whose  presence  the  pillars  of 
heaven  tremble  ;  that  God  before  whom  the  earth,  and  all 
that  dwell  thereon,  before  whom  the  boundless  universe, 
with  all  its  countless  suns  and  planets,  before  whom  all 
created  things  are  but  as  a  drop  of  water,  as  a  grain  of 
sand,  as  if  they  were  not, — that  God  of  infinite  majesty 
and  glory  made  himself  subject  to  the  apostles  when  he 
said,  li  Do  this  for  a  commemoration  of  me  !"  The  mon- 
archs  of  the  earth  have  great  power,  their  commands  are 
obeyed,  their  very  name  is  respected  and  feared,  thou 
sands  and  thousands  of  their  fellow-men  are  subject  to 
them  5  but  the  priestly  power  of  the  apostles  is  far 
greater.  Great  was  the  power  of  Adam  when  he  came 
forth  from  the  hands  of  God,  in  all  the  majesty  of  justice 
and  innocence.  He  was  the  king  of  creation,  and  all  the 
creatures  of  the  earth  obeyed  him.  Great  was  the  power 
of  Moses  when,  by  a  single  word,  he  divided  the  waters 
of  the  Red  Sea,,  and  led  a  vast  multitude,  dry-shod,  through 
the  surging  billows.  Great  was  the  power  of  Elias,  who 
caused  fire  to  rain  from  heaven  upon  the  heads  of  his 
enemies.  Great  was  the  power  of  Joshua,  wrho,  in  the 
heat  of  battle,  raised  his  hands  to  heaven,  and  com 
manded  the  sun :  "  Move  not,  O  sun  ! "  he  cried, 
"  and  thou,  moon !  stand  still  ! "  and  the  sun  and  the 
moon  obeyed  his  voice.  They  stood  still  in  the  midst 
of  the  heavens,  for  the  space  of  an  entire  day.  Great, 
indeed,  was  the  power  which  God  thus  gave  to  man, 
but  the  power  given  by  Christ  to  the  apostles  was  infinitely 
greater.  Whenever  they  said  Mass,  they  held  in  their 
hands,  after  the  words  of  consecration,  Jesus  Christ,  their 
Lord  and  God,  to  receive  him,  and  to  give  him  to  all  those 
who  wished  to  receive  him  in  holy  communion.  This 


power  which  Christ  gave  to  his  apostles,  surpasses  far 
.even  the  power  of  creation.  By  creation,  God  produces 
the  substance  of  bread  out  of  nothing,  by  his  word ;  but 
by  the  words  of  the  apostles,  in  consecration,  the  sub 
stance  of  bread  and  wine  is  changed  into  the  most  sa'cred 
body  and  blood  of  Christ.  Ah!  when  we  see  tlie  apoities, 
weak,  sinful  men  as  they  were,  gifted  with  a  power  which 
angels  could  not  and  did  not  dare  to  claim  ;  when  we  see 
them  exercising  power  over  God  himself,  possessing  power 
to  carry  him,  and  give  him  to  whom  they  willed,  we  can 
not  help  exclaiming,  in  amazement :  "  0  wondrous  miracle ! 
0  marvellous  power !  "  A  greater  power  than  this  God 
could  not  give — it  was  his  own  infinite  power. 

But,  as  Christ  could  not  wish  to  enter,  by  holy  com 
munion,  into  souls  as  long  as  they  were  in  mortal  sin,  the 
great  power  of  the  apostles  to  change  bread  and  wine  into 
Christ's  body  and  blood  would  have  been  of  little  avail  to 
the  greater  part  of  mankind,  had  not  Christ  given  to  the 
apostles  another  power,  viz.:  that  of  forgiving  sins  by 
means  of  the  sacraments,  especially  by  the  sacraments  of 
baptism  and  penance.  Therefore  he  said  to  the  apoitles : 
"  Go,  baptize  mankind  in  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of 
the  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost ;  "  "  Whose  sins  you  shalt 
forgive,  they  are  forgiven  them."  (Matt,  xxviii,  19  5  John 
xx,  23.)  This  power  was  given  to  the  apostles  to  free  men 
from  their  sins,  and  prepare  them  for  the  union  with  Christ 
in  holy  communion.  This  power,  too,  surpasses  that  of 
any  created  being,  either  in  heaven  or  on  earth.  An 
earthly  judge  has  great  power,  yet  he  can  only  declare 
one  innocent  who  has  been  falsely  accused  j  but  the  apostles 
received  power  to  restore  to  innocence  even  those  who 
were  guilty. 


The  kings  of  the  earth  are  powerful,  yet  their  po'wer 
extends  only  to  a  few  countries,  while  the  power  of 
the  apostles  embraced  the  whole  earth.  Their  po'wer 
reached  to  the  highest  heavens,  it  penetrated  even  to  the 
ve'ry  gates  of  hell.  The  treasures  of  kings  are  silver 
and  gold, — perishable  metals  j  but  the  treasures  of  the 
apostles  were  the  imperishable  merits  and  graces  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  Kings  have  power  over  the 
bodies  of  men  only  ;  but  the  apostles  had  power  over  men's 
souls.  Kings  have  po'wer  over  their  subjects  only ;  but 
kings  and  emperors  themselves  were  subject  to  the 
apostles,  because  from  them  they  had  to  expect  not  oiily 
the  light  of  the  true  faith,  but  also  the  pa'rdon  of  their 
sins, — the  grace  of  God.  Kings  have  po'wer  to  o'pen  and 
to  close  the  prison-gates  on  earth ;  but  the  apostles  had 
power  to  open  and  to  close  the  jgates  of  heaven  and  of 
hell.  The  influence  of  their  power  was  felt  in  heaven, 
in  giving  to  it  the  elect ;  it  was  felt  in  hell,  in  snatching 
from  it  victims ;  it  was  felt  in  purgatory,  in  consoling 
efficaciously  its  great  sufferers. 

But  Christ  said  to  his  apostles :  u  To  me  is  given  all 
po'wer  in  heaven  and  on  earth.  As  the  Father  has  sent 
me,  I  also  send  you."  He  who  bestows  all  power,  excludes 
none.  Christ,  therefore,  gave  to  his  apostles  the  power 
to  cast  out  devils  from  possessed  persons,  and  to  prevent 
the  evil  spirits  from  hurting  men  in  their  bodies  or 
property:  "And  calling  together  the  twelve  apostles,'7 
says  St.  Luke  (ix,  1),  "  he  gave  them  power  and  authority 
over  all  devils."  And  the  same  evangelist  tells  us,  also, 
that  the  disciples  cast  out  the  devils  from  possessed 
persons,  at  which  power  they  were  greatly  amazed,  and 
said :  "  Lord,  the  devils  also  are  subject  to  us  in  thy 

66  .   GOD   THE   SON   OUR   TEACHER. 

name."  (Luke  x,  17.)  Christ  also  gave  to  his  apostles 
power  to  bless  or  consecrate  things  for  the  divine  service,  or 
for  the  pious  use  of  the  faithful :  as  altars,  chalices,  vest 
ments,  churches,  graveyards,  h6ly-water,  oil,  bread,  -wine, 
palms.  By  the  sin  of  Adam  the  curse  of  God  had  come 
upon  all  creatures  :  u  Cursed  is  the  earth  in  thy  work," 
said  God  to  Adam.  (Gen.  iii,  17.)  But  Christ  came  to 
take  aw^y  not  only  man's  sin,  but  also  the  curse  which 
had  fallen  upon  all  other  creatures  of  the  earth.  And  as 
Christ  gave  power  to  the  apostles  to  drive  out  sin  from 
the  souls  of  men,  by  their  applying  to  them  the  merits  of  his 
redemption  through  the  sacraments,  in  like  manner  he 
gave  them  power  to  free  creatures  from  the  curse  of  sin, 
by  their  applying  to  them  the  blessing  of  redemption, 
through  prayers  and  blessings,  in  order  to  make  them  work 
good  to  those  that  love  God ;  for  u  every  creature," 
says  St.  Paul,  "is  sanctified  by  the  word  and  prayer." 
(1  Tim.  iv,  5.) 

St.  Matthew  tells  us,  in  his  po'spel  (vii,  29),  that  our 
Saviour  was  teaching  the  people  as  one  having  power 
and  authority,  and  not  as  their  Scribes  and  Pharisees. 
Christ,  who  chose  the  apostles  to  take  his  place  as  teacher 
and  priest,  wished  also  that,  like  him,  they  should  teach 
with  power  and  authority.  To  increase  their  authority, 
he  gave  them  another  power: -the  power  of  ruling  and 
governing  those  who  believed  in  him,  and  were  baptized. 

10.  What  power  had  the  apostles  as  rulers  or  pastors 
of  the  Church? 

It  '  S 

They  had  the  power  of  governing  the  faithful,  under  the 
supreme  authority  of  St.  Peter. 

Christ  said  to  his  apostles :  u  Amen  I  say  to  you, 
whatsoever  you  shall  bind  upon  earth,  shall  be  bound  also 


in  heaven  j   and  whatsoever  you  shall  loose  upon  earth, 
shall  be  loosed  also  in  heaven."  (Matt,  xviii,  18.) 

In  these  words  Christ  gave  power  to  his  apostles  to 
govern  his  Church,  to  regulate  the  divine  service  and  the 
manner  of  administering  the  sacraments,  to  govern  nations, 
kings  and  peoples,  according  to  his  unchangeable  doctrine  5 
to  make  laws  for  them,  and  to  enforce  those  laws,  by 
refusing  the  sacraments  to  those  who  transgress  them,  or 
by  expelling  such  transgressors  from  her  society,  or  by 
imposing  upon  them  such  works  of  penance  as  were 
deemed  proper  for  their  own  spiritual  good,  and  that  of 

Gifted  with  this  threefold  po'wer  of  Christ,  the  apostles 
were  greater  than  the  patriarchs, — greater,  more  exalted, 
than  the  prophets.  A  widow  of  Sarephta  fed  the  prophet 
Elias  for  some  time.  As  a  reward  for  her  charity,  the 
prophet  obtained  for  her  the  miracle  that  her  pot  of  meal 
wasted  not,  and  her  cruse  of  oil  was  not  diminished,  and 
thus  sustained  that  family  in  a  miraculous  manner.  The 
apostles  did  more  :  they  fed  not  merely  one  family,  but 
the  nations  of  th,e  world  ;  they  gave  not  mere  material 
bread,  but  the  living  bread  from  heaven :  the  body  and 
blood  of  Jesus  Christ ;  they  strengthened  the  souls  of 
men  with  the  oil  of  grace,  which  they  administered  to 
them  in  the  holy  sacraments. 

Elias  raised,  moreover,  the  widow's  son  to  life ;  but 
the  apostles  did  more  :  they  raised  to  life  the  dead  souls  of 
hundreds  and  thousands.  In  the  sacraments  of  baptism 
and  penance,  they  raised  to  the  life  of  grace  the  souls  of 
those  that  were  dead  in  mortal  sin. 

Elias  caused  fire  to  rain  from  heaven  upon  the  heads  of 
the  wicked.  The  apostles  caused  not  simply  material  fire 

68  GOD   THE    SON   OUR   TEACHER. 


to  fall  from  heaven,  they  did  far  more :  they  caused  the 
fire  of  divine  love  to  fall  upon  the  cold  hearts  of  sinners, 
and  moved  them  to  contrition  j  they  inflamed  them  to  a 
new  and  perfect  life. 

Again,  the  apostles  were  greater  than  the  prophets. 
The  prophets  beheld  the  Redeemer  only  from  af^r,  in  the 
dim  future.  The  apostles  beheld  him  present  before  their 
eyes.  They  touched  the  long-wished-for  Redeemer  with 
their  hands  ;  they  offered  him  up  to  the  heavenly  Father  f 
they  carried  him  through  the  streets  j  they  even  fed  on 
the  precious  blood  of  this  Holy  One ;  they  received  him 
into  their  hearts,  and  united  themselves  most  intimately 
with  him  in  holy  communion. 

The  prophets  foretold  that,  when  the  fulness  of  time 
should  come,  God  would  write  his  laws,  not  on  stone,  but 
on  men's  hearts ;  he  would  govern  men,  not  by  the  law 
of  servile  fear,  but  by  the  sweet  bonds  of  holy  love  j  that 
God  himself  would  dwell  in  them,  and  direct  them  by  his 
grace.  Now,  this  fulness  of  time  for  which  the  prophets 
sighed,  came  with  Jesus  Christ.  He  gave  his  grace,  his 
own  divine  life,  to  man,  and  he  gave  it  abundantly  ;  and, 
as  the  ministers  of  that  grace,  he  chose,  not  the  prophets, 
not  his  angels,  but  his  apostles. 

The  apostles  had  the  patriarchal  dignity  of  Abraham. 
Abraham  is  called  the  Father  of  the  Faithful.  The  apo7s- 
tles  were,  in  reality,  the  fathers  of  the  faithful,  for  they 
made  them  the  children  of  God,  by  preaching  the  Gospel, 
and  especially  by  administering  to  them  the  holy  sacra 
ments.  They  stood  at  the  helm  of  the  Church, — the  ark 
of  salvation, — like  Noe.  They  were  consecrated  forever 
according  to  the  order  of  Melchisedech.  They  were 
invested  with  a  dignity  far  higher  than  that  of  Aaron. 


Aaron  offered  up  only  the  blood  of  sheep  and  oxen,  while 
the  apostles  offered  up  the  blood  of  the  Lamb  of  God, 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  They  had  the  authority  of  Moses. 
Mo'ses  led  the  people  of  God,  through  the  desert,  to  the 
promised  land  5  the  apostles  led  the  children  of  God, 
through  the  desert  of  this  life,  to  the  true  land  of  promise, 
— their  home  in  heaven. 

Great,  unutterably  great,  indeed,  were  the  powers  of  the 
apostles.  But  these  powers  were  not  bestowed  upon  them 
for  their  own  private  benefit.  They  received  them  for 
the  spiritual  welfare  of  the  people.  And  as  Christ  came 
to  save  and  sanctify  all  men,  it  was  his  will  that  his  power 
as  teacher,  as  priest,  and  as  ruler,  should  continue  as  long 
as  his  Church  lasts. 

11.  How  long  will  the  Church  last  ? 

The  Church  will  last  to  the  end  of  the  world. 

From  the  very  beginning  the  Church  of  Christ  was  made 
up  of  two  classes  of  men :  of  teachers  and  hearers,  of 
priests  and  people,  of  rulers  and  subjects.  Thus  estab 
lished,  it  will  continue  to  the  end  of  time,  according  to 
Christ's  promise,  "  The  gates  of  hell  shall  not  prevail 
against  my  Church."  Christ  calls  his  Church  his  kingdom 
on  earth,  which  he  has  acquired  at  the  cost  of  so  much 
toil,  and  la'bor,  and  suffering ;  it  is  that  kingdom  which  he 
purchased  with  his  own  blood,  and  which  he  loves  more 
than  his  own  life.  It  would  be  blasphemous  to  think 
that  any  power  should  ever  be  able  to  tear  that  kingdom 
from  Christ.  The  Church  is  the  sheepfold  of  Jesus  Christ ; 
he  is  her  divine  shepherd.  No  hellish  wolf  will  ever  be 
able  to  take  entire  possession  of  this  sheepfold.  The 
Church  is  the  household  of  which  Christ  is  the  master. 
No  power  will  succeed  in  destroying  that  household.  The 


Church,  says  St.  Paul,  is  the  body  of  Christ.  Christ, 
then,  is  inseparably  united  with  his  Church.  Sooner  shall 
the  sun  refuse  its  light ;  sooner  shall  the  stars  fall  from  the 
firmament ;  sooner  shall  the  precious  blood  of  Christ  lose 
its  atoning  power  j  sooner  shall  God  cease  to  be  God,  than 
Christ  cease  to  protect  and  defend  his  body, — the  Church. 
"Behold,"  says  he  to  the  apostles,  UI  am  with  you  all 
days,  even  to  the  end  of  the  world."  (Matt,  xxviii,  20.) 

12.  How  can  Christ  be  with  his  apostles  to  the  end  of 
the  world,  since  the  apostles  died  ? 

Christ  is  with  his  apostles  to  the  end  of  the  world,  in 
their  laivful  successors. 

It  is  fitting  to  remember  again  what  Christ  said  to  his 
apostles :  "  All  power  is  given  to  me  in  heaven  and  on 
earth."  Had  our  Saviour,  when  he  uttered  these  words, 
considered  himself  God,  he  could  not  have  said,  "  is 
given  to  me,"  because,  as  God,  he  had,  from  the  beginning, 
as  much  power  as  his  heavenly  Father.  He  spoke  as  man, 
then,  when  he  said,  u  All  power  is  given  to  me,"  and  as 
man  he  could  and  did  receive  all  power  from  his  heavenly 
Father ;  that  is,  his  power  as  teacher,  as  priest,  and  as  ruler, 
together  with  the  power  of  conferring,  as  man,  this  three 
fold  power  on  other  men — on  his  apostles.  He  tells  his 
apostles:  "As  the  Father  hath  sent  me,  I  also  send 
you ;"  that  is,  as  the  Father  hath  sent  me  to  confer  uptm 
you  the  powers  I  have  received  from  him,  I  also  send 
you  to  confer  upon  others  the  powers  you  have  received 
from  me,  and  they  are  to  confer  again  upon  others  the 
powers  they  received  from  you,  and  so  on  to  the  end  of 
time.  I  shall  die,  it  is  true,  but  the  powers  received 
from  my  Father  will  not  die  or  cease  with  my  death  ;  they 
will  continue  in  you.  You,  too,  will  die,  but  with  youi 

GOD   THE   SON   OUR   TE1CHETR.  71 

death  the  powers  received  from  me  will  not  cease  j  they 
will  continue  in  those  upon  whom  you  confer  them,  and 
so  on  to  the  end  of  the  world.  It  is  thus  that  I  am  with 
you,  in  your  successors,  to  the  last  day  of  the  world.  I 
will  be,  to  the  end  of  the  world,  with  you,  Peter,  as  head 
of  my  Church,  in  your  successor,  and  also  with  you,  my 
other  apostles,  in  those  who  take  your  place. 

13.  Who  is  the  lawful  successor  of  St.  Peter* 

The  Pope,  or  the  Bishop  of  Home.     (Council  of  Flor 
ence,  1438.) 

One  thousand  eight  hundred  and  forty  odd  years  ago, 
a  poor,  meanly-clad  wanderer  went  to  the  capital  of  the 
world, — the  wealthy,  magnificent  city  of  Rome.  He 
passes  its  gates,  and  threads  his  way,  unobserved,  through 
populous  streets.  On  every  side  he  beholds  splendid 
palaces,  raised  at  the  expense  of  down-trodden  nation 
alities  ;  he  beholds  stately  temples,  dedicated  to  as  many 
false  gods  as  nations  were  represented  in  Rome ;  he 
beholds  public  baths  and  amphitheatres,  devoted  to 
pleasure  and  to  cruelty  ;  he  beholds  statues,  monuments, 
and  triumphal  arches,  raised  to  the  memory  of  blood 
thirsty  tyrants.  He  passes  warriors  and  senators,  beg 
gars  and  cripples,  effeminate  men  and  dissolute  women, 
gladiators  and  slaves,  merchants  and  statesmen, ^orators 
and  philosophers — all  classes,  all  ranks,  all  conditions  of 
men,  of  every  language  and  color  under  the  sun.  Every 
where  he  sees  a  ma'ddenin^  race  for  pleasure,  Everywhere 
the  impress  of  luxury,  everywhere  the  full  growth  of 
crime,  side  by  side  with  indescribable  suffering,  diabolical 
cruelty  and  barbarity. 

And  this  poor,   meanly-clad  wanderer    was  St.  Pester, 
the   head  of  Christ's  Church.     How  the  noble  heart  of 


the  poor  fisherman  of  Galilee  must  have  bled  when  he 
observed  the  empire  of  Satan  so  supreme  ;  when  he  wit 
nessed  the  shocking  licentiousness  of  the  temple  and  the 
homestead  ;  when  he  saw  the  fearful  degradation  of  wdman, 
groaning  under  the  load  of  her  own  infamy  ;  when  he  saw 
the  heart-rending  inhumanity  which  slew  the  innocent 
babes,  and  threw  them  into  the  Tiber ;  when  he  saw  how 
prisoners  of  war,  slaves,  and  soldiers,  were  trained  for 
bloody  fights,  and  entered  the  arena  of  the  amphitheatre, 
and  strove  whole  days  to  slay  one  another,  for  the  special 
entertainment  of  the  Roman  people  ! 

Here,  then,  was  to  be  the  scene  of  his  labors.  Into 
this  foul  mass,  into  this  carcass  of  a  rolten  society,  St. 
Peter  was  come  to  infuse  a  new  life,  to  lay  the  foundation 
of  a  new  Rome, — a  Rome,  which,  instead  of  paganism 
and  depravity,  should  convey  the  truth  and  the  blessing 
of  Christian  virtues  to  the  farthermost  ends  of  the  earth. 
When  Peter,  the  first  pope,  came  to  Rome,  that  city  was 
the  condensation  of  all  the  idolatry,  all  the  oppression,  all 
the  injustice,  all  the  immoralities,  of  the  world,  for  the 
world  was  centred  in  Rome.  Peter  laid  his  hand  to  the 
plough,  and  never  once  looked  back.  For  twenty-five 
years  he  struggled,  and  succeeded  in  establishing,  in  the 
very  midst  of  this  centre  of  every  excess  of  which  the 
human  mind  and  the  human  heart  could  be  guilty,  a 
congregation  of  Christians  to  whom  St.  Paul  could  address 
an  epikle,  and  state  in  it  that  the  fair  fame  of  their  faith 
had  already  spread  over  the  whole  world:  "I  give 
thanks  to  my  God,  through  Jesus  Christ,  for  you  all, 
because  your  faith  is  spoken  of  in  the  whole  world." 
(Rom.  i,  8  j  xvi,  19.) 

The  foundation  of  a  new  world  had  been  laid  by  St. 

GOD    THE    SON    OUR   TEACHER.  73 

Peter,  the  first  pope.  He  established  his  see  in  Rome; 
there  he  suffered  martyrdom  for  the  faith. 

That  St.  Peter  resided  and  died  at  Rome  is  a  fact 
which  is  attested  by  unvarying  and  universal  testimony, 
— a  fact  which  has  been  transmitted  by  oral  tradition,  and 
is  recorded  in  the  writings  of  the  Fathers,  St.  Cyprian, 
Tertiillian,  St.  Ambrose,  St.  Athanasius,  and  others ;  it  is 
recorded  in  the  writings  of  historians,  St.  Irenseus,  St. 
Epiphanius,  Eusebius,  St.  Isidore  ;  it  is  recorded  in  the 
writings  of  sovereign  pontiffs,  and  of  the  Councils  of 
Ephesus,  of  Chalcedon,  of  Lyons,  of  Florence.  This 
fact  is  also  commemorated  every  year  by  festivals,  such 
as  that  of  the  Chair  of  St.  Peter  at  Rome ;  of  the  Chains 

worn  by  St.  Peter  at  Rome.     It  is  a  fact  of  which  we  are 

. f  .'  '  x. 

continually  reminded   by  multitudes   of  the  faithful,  who 

are  constantly  seen  around  the  tomb  of  the  Prince  of  the 
Apostles.  This  fact  is  also  evident  from  the  preeminence 
which  the  See  of  Rome  has  always  held  over  all  other 
churches.  Peter,  then,  haVing  ultimately  fixed  his  abode 
and  his  see  at  Rome,  Rome  was  called,  by  the  Fathers  of 
the  Church,  the  See  of  Peter ;  and  the  Bishop  of  Rome, 
the  Successor  of  Peter  j  and  the  supremacy  of  the  Roman 
Pontiff,  the  Supremacy  of  Peter  ;  and  communion  with 
Rome,  Communion  with  Peter.  u  Rome  has  become  the 
capital  of  Christendom,"  says  St.  Leo  the  Great,  "  be 
cause  it  was  there  that  St.  Pe'ter  established  his  see."  (Serm. 
in  Nativ.  Apost.)  Since  then,  pope  has  succeeded  pope,  in 
spite  of  persecution  and  death,  in  spite  of  the  opposition 
of  pa'gan  philosophy  and  of  pagan  intrigue,  of  pagan  hate 
and  of  pagan  enmity.  Two  hundred  and  fifty-five  popes, 
till  now,  have  succeeded  one  another  in  the  See  of  St.  Peter. 
Of  these,  seventy-seven  are  honored  by  the  Church  as 


saints,  and  twenty-seven  have,  in  imitation  of  St.  Peter, 
suffered  martyrdom  for  their  faith.  It  was  from  the  centre 
of  Rome  that  the  popes  governed  the  Church  through  the 
lawful  successors  of  the  apostles.  Hence  the  Council  of 
Florence  defined  that  "  the  Roman  Pontiff  is  the  true 
Vicar  of  Christ,  and  the  head  of  the  whole  Church, 
and  the  father  and  teacher  of  all  Christians ;  and  that  to 
him,  in  blessed  Peter;  was  delivered,  by  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  the  full  power  of  feeding,  ruling,  and  governing  the 
whole  Church."  (Acts  of  the  Seventeenth  General  Council 
of  Florence,  A.  D.  1438  :  L'abbe,  vol.  xviii,  p.  526.)  And 
with  the  approval  of  the  Second  Council  of 'Lyons,  the 
Greeks  professed  u  that  the  Holy  Ro'man  Church  enjoys  su 
preme  and  full  primacy  and  preeminence  over  the  whole 
Catholic  Church,  which  it  truly  and  humbly  acknowledges 
that  it  has  received,  with  the  plenitude  of  power  from 
our  Lord  himself,  in  the  presence  of  blessed  Peter,  prince 

or  head  of  the  apostles,  whose  successor  the  Roman  Pdn- 

/  /  f 

tiff  is."  (Acts  of  the  Fourteenth  General  Council — Second 

of  Lyons— A.  D.  1274;  Labbe,  vol.  xiv,  p.  512.)  "If 
then,"  says  the  Vatican  Council,  li  any  shall  say  that 
the  Roman  Pontiff  has  the  office  merely  of  inspection  or 
direction,  and  not  full  and  supreme  power  of  jurisdiction 
over  the  Universal  Church,  not  only  in  things  which 
belong  to  faith  and  morals,  but  also  in  those  which  relate 
to  the  discipline  and  government  of  the  Church,  spread 
throughout  the  world ;  or  assert  that  he  possesses  merely 
the  principal  part,  and  not  all  the  fulness,  of  this  supreme 
power ;  or  that  this  power  which  he  enjoys  is  not  ordinary 
and  immediate,  both  over  each  and  all  the  churches,  and 
over  each  and  all  the  pastors  and  the  faithful,  let  him  be 
anathema."  (Cap.  III.) 


14.  Who  are  the  lawful  successors  of  the  other  apostles  ? 

The  lawful  successors  of  the  other  apostles  are  the  bishops 
of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  who  are  in  communion  ivith 
the  pope. 

God  the  Father  sent  Christ,  his  well-beloved  Son,  to 
teach  his  holy  will  to  all  mankind.  Christ,  again,  sent 
his  apostles  to  take  his  place  and  continue  his  work.  In 
like  manner,  the  apostles  chose  others,  ordained  them 
bishops  and  priests,  to  continue  their  work.  St.  Paul,  for 

instance,  ordained  Titus,  and  left  him  in  Crete,  to  ordain 
/  /  / 

other  bishops  and  priests  to  succeed  him  :  u  I  have  left  thee 

in  Crete,"  he  writes  to  Titus,  "in  order  that  thou  shouldst 
set  in  order  the  things  that  are  wanting,  and  shouldst 
ordain  priests  in  every  city,  as  I  also  appointed  thee."" 
(Titus  i,  5.)  Those  bishops  who  were  ordained  by  the 
apostles,  ordained  again  other  bishops  and  priests,  wher 
ever  they  were  needed )  and  these  again,  in  their  turn, 
ordained  others,  and  so  on,  in  regular  succession,  down  to 
our  own  time.  Thus  every  one  of  our  own  bishops  and 
priests  is  the  direct  descendant  of  one  or  other  of  the 
apostles.  Therefore,  every  Catholic  bishop  can,  with 
truth,  say  to  his  flock :  u  I  was  consecrated  bishop  by 
such  a  Catholic  bishop  j  he  himself  was  consecrated  by 
such  another  Catholic  bishop,  and  so  on,  in  a  direct  line, 
which  reaches  to  the  apostles,  themselves.  It  is  thus, 
through  an  unbroken  line  of  bishops,  that  I  hold  from  the 
apostles  their  own  power  to  preach  to  you  the  word  of 
God,  to  administer  to  you  the  sacraments,  and  to  exercise 
the  spiritual  government  over  your  souls.  With  St.  Paul, 
therefore,  I  can  say  to  you  :  '  For  Christ  we  are  ambassa 
dors,  God,  as  it  were,  exhorting  by  us.'  "  (2  Cor.  v,  20.) 
Indeed,  if  the  Church  is  the  spouse  of  Christ,  the  popes, 

76  GOD   THE   SON    OUR   TEACHER. 


"bishops,  and  priests  are  her  guardians.  If  the  Church  is 
an  army  ranged  in  battle,  the  popes,  the  bishops,  and  the 
priests  are  her  generals.  If  the  Church  is  a  vessel,  steer 
ing  across  the  storms  of  persecutions,  the  popes,  bishops, 
and  priests  are  her  pilots.  If  the  Church  is  the  mystic 
body  of  Christ,  and  if  the  faithful  are  its  members,  the 
popes,  the  bishops,  and  priests  are  the  principal  members 
of  this  body.  By  their  eyes,  Jesus  Christ  watches  over 
his  flock  ;  by  their  feet,  he  carries  to  every  nation  the 
Gospel  of  peace  j  by  their  hearts,  he  diffuses  everywhere 
the  life  of  that  divine  charity  without  which  all  is  dead. 
It  the  Church  is  the  people  of  acquisition,  bought  at  a 
great  price,  the  popes,  the  bishops,  and  the  priests  are  the 
leaders,  the  teachers,  the  princes,  of  that  chosen  genera 
tion.  If  the  Church  is  that  sacred  edifice,  built  up  by  the 
Divine  wisdom  itself  for  the  children  of  God,  the  popes, 
the  bishops,  and  the  priests  are  the  administrators  of  this 
palace  ;  they  are  the  columns  of  the  Church,  upon  which  the 
whole  world  rests.  God  the  Father  has  created  the  world 
without  the  popes,  the  bishops,  and  the  priests,  but  it  is  (inly 
through  them  that  he  saves  it.  God  the  Son  redeemed 
the  world  without  the  popes,  the  bishops,  and  the  priests, 
but  it  is  only  by  them  that  he  applies  his  blood  to 
the  souls  of  men,  and  secures  the  fruits  of  his  copious 

/  /  /  7 

Redemption.  And  you  can  hardly  name  a  single  blessing 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  without  beholding  by  the  side  of  that 
blessing  the  priest  as  the  instrument  through  which  that 
Divine  Spirit  communicates  his  blessing.  Yes  j  if  St. 
Bernard  is  right  in  saying  that  all  comes  to  us  through 
Mary,  we  are  also  right  in  saving  that  all  comes  to  the 
people  through  the  popes,  the  bishops,  and  the  priests, — all 
happiness,  all  graces,  all  heavenly  gifts. 


1,  Were  the  aposiles  to  exercise  their   powers   im 
mediately  after  they  had  received  them  ? 

No ;   Christ  commanded  them  to  wait  for  the  coming  of 
the  Holy  Ghost. 

When  a  king  levies  soldiers  to  make  war,  he  must  have 
weapons  wherewith  to  arm  them.  It  would  be  utterly 
foolish  to  send  them  to  fight  without  arms.  It  would  be 
simply  to  sacrifice  his  men  to  no  purpose,  and  to  invite 
defeat.  Surely  God  acts  with,  at  least,  equal  wisdom : 
"  He  does  not  call,"  says  St.  Bernardine  of  Sienna,  "  with 
out  giving,  at  the  same  time,  to  those  whom  he  calls,  all 
.that  is  necessary  to  accomplish  the  end  for  which  he 
calls."  (Serm.  I,  De  St.  Joseph.)  Jesus  Christ  chose  the 
apostles  to  continue  his  work  on  earth.  Their  duty  was 
to  teach  his  holy  doctrine.  In  order  to  teach  it  well,  it 
was  necessary  for  them  to  understand  it  thoroughly,  and 
to  remember  it  all.  But  the  apostles  were  at  first  men" 
without  learning,  most  of  them  being  poor  fishermen  when 
called  by  Christ.  They  were,  naturally  enough,  full  of 
the  prejudices  of  their  nation  ;  their  ideas  were  altogether 
worldly.  Christ  had  instructed  them  for  three  years,  in 
public  and  in  private.  Sometimes  he  spoke  to  them  in 
parables,  at  other  times  he  addressed  them  in  plain  lan 
guage.  But  his  parables  were  to  them  so  many  riddles, 
and  his  more  open  instructions  they  interpreted  in  a  wrong 
sense.  They  scarcely  knew  for  what  end  he  had  come  on 


earth ;  they  did  not  as  yet  understand  that  the  world  was 
to  be  redeemed  by  his  blood.  Even  on  the  day  of  his 
ascension,  they  were  figuring  to  themselves  the  deliverance 
of  their  country  from  the  yoke  of  the  Romans ;  and  their 
thoughts  were  of  seeing  their  Master  seated,  like  one  of 
the  old  Jewish  kings,  on  the  temporal  throne  of  King 
David.  Such  was  their  ignorance,  such  were  their  ideas. 
Certainly,  as  they  then  were,  they  were  not  fit  to  be  sent 
to  preach  Christ's  doctrine  to  all  nations,  or,  indeed,  any 
doctrine  at  all.  Moreover,  the  apostles  were  to  take 
Christ's  place,  and  continue  his  work  as  priests.  Christ,  as 

priest,  offered  his  life  on  the  cross  for  the  salvation  of 

/  /  / 

mankind ;   and  his  desire  was  that  he  himself  should  be 

offered  by  the  apostles  in  the  sacrifice  of  the  Mass.  To 
be  fitted  to  take  the  place  of  Christ  as  priest,  to  repre 
sent  him  in  his  highest  character  in  a  worthy  manner, 
it  was  necessary  for  the  apostles  to  be  like  him  in  all 
things, — willing,  in  imitation  of  their  divine  Master,  to 
sacrifice,  for  the  sake  of  his  religion,  all  that  was  near  and 
dear  to  them.  It  was  necessary  that  they  should  be 
willing  even  to  lay  down  their  lives  for  the  sake  of  the 
faith.  In  a  word,  it  was  necessary  for  them  to  be  pos 
sessed  of  heroic  virtues,  for  they  were  to  go  as  lambs 
among  a  pack  of  wolves.  If,  at  the  ascension  of  our 
Lord,  the  apostles  were  not  prepared  to  take  Christ's  place 
and  continue  his  work  as  teachers,  they  were  still  less 
prepared  to  continue  his  work  as  priests.  It  is  true  they 
had  been  in  the  school  of  Jesus  Christ  for  three  years ; 
they  had  witnessed,  day  by  day,  his  example  of  charity 
and  meekness,  his  zeal  for  the  salvation  of  souls,  his  spirit 
of  self-sacrifice.  Yet,  for  all  that,  the  apostle?  had  made 
little  progress  in  virtue.  They  often  yielded  to  feelings 


of  envy,  and  to  many  human  weaknesses  and  imperfections. 
We  find  the  two  sons  of  Zebedee  ambitious  ;  one  wishing 
to  sit  on  the  right  hand,  and  the  other  on  the  left,  of  Jesus 
Christ.  On  the  very  eve  of  Christ's  crucifixion  there 
arose  among  the  apostles  a  dispute  for  the  first  place. 
Finally,  the  apostles  were  to  be  rulers  of  Christ's  kingdom 
on  earth, — the  holy  Catholic  Church. 

They  were  to  announce  not  only  to  the  subjects  of  the 
rulers  of  nations,  but  also  to  the  rulers  themselves,  that 
they  were  bound  to  hear  the  Church  like  the  humblest, 
and  to  submit  their  souls  to  her  guidance,  under  pain  of 
eternal  banishment  from  the  presence  of  God.  Should 
they  dare  to  command  where  it  was  their  duty  to  obey, 
their  mistake  would  be  disastrous  to  themselves,  because 
"  there  was  no  respect  of  persons  with  God."  (Rom.  ii, 
II.)-  Such  a  religion  could  not  be  announced  without 
being  contradicted,  hated,  and  even  most  cruelly  perse 
cuted,  especially  by  the  monarchs  of  this  world,  who  refuse 
to  recognize  any  one  superior  to  themselves.  Poor  apdstles, 
especially  poor  St.  Peter,  the  head  of  the  apostles  !  At 
the  voice  of  a  servant-maid,  Peter  had  denied  his  divine 
Master,  and  taken  a  solemn  oath  that  he  knew  him  not. 
And  so  fearful,  so  weak,  so  cowardly  were  the  others  that, 
when  their  Lord  was  seized  in  the  garden,  they  ran  awa'y, 
and  left  him  alone  in  the  hands  of  his  enemies.  During 
his  passion,  not  one  of  them  stood  up  for  his  defence  ; 
and  whilst  he  was  hanging  on  the  cross,  St.  John  alone 
had  the  courage  to  stand  at  the  foot  of  that  cross.  ,They 
hid  themselves,  through  fear  of  the  Jews ;  the  slightest 
danger  affrighted  them  j  the  least  obstacle  discouraged 
them.  Such  were  the  apostles,  even  on  the  day  of  Christ's 
ascension  into  heaven  Christ  knew  them  to  be  uncul- 


tivated,  and  yet  he  chose  them  to  confound  the  learning 
of  the  wise  of  this  world  ;  he  knew  them  to  be  ignorant, 
and  yet  he  selected  them  to  unravel  the  most  ingenious 
sophistry ;  he  knew  them  to  be  weak,  and  yet  he  called 
them  to  exhaust  the  cruel  ingenuity  of  all  their  persecti- 
tors.  Idols  were  to  crumble  before  them  into  dust  ;  men 
were  to  be  astonished,  without  knowing  why,  to  find  them 
selves  Christians.  But  God  was  pleased,  says  St.  Paul, 
to  choose  the  foolish  things  of  the  world,  in  order  to 
confound  the  wise ;  and  the  weak  things  of  the  world,  in 
order  to  confound  the  strong.  (1  Cor.  i,  27).  As,  at  the 
sound  of  his  voice,  the  universe  came  into  being  out  of 
nothing,  so  he  had  only  to  bless  his  apostles,  and  his 
Church,  or  kingdom  on  earth,  and  a  new  spiritual  world, 
stood  forth,  all  beautiful,  in  the  midst  of  nations. 

And  Christ  had  repeatedly  promised  this  blessing  to  the 
apostles.  The  Holy  Ghost  was  to  bestow  it  upon  them. 
"  The  Comforter,  the  Holy  Ghost,"  he  told  them,  "  whom 
the  Father  will  send  in  my  name,  he  will  teach  you  all 
things,  and  bring  all  things  to  your  mind,  whatsoever  I 
shall  have  said  to  you."  (John  xiv,  26.)  For  this  bless 
ing  Christ  commanded  the  apostles  to  wait,  before  leaving 
Jerusalem  to  announce  the  Gospel  to  all  nations.  Not 
long  after  Christ's  ascension,  the  apostles  received  this 
blessing  in  abundance.  According  to  promise,  Christ  sent 
upon  them  the  Holy  Ghost,  the  spirit  of  life,  to  animate 
them ;  the  spirit  of  grace,  to  sanctify  them ;  the  spirit  of 
wisdom,  to  enlighten  them  j  the  spirit  of  love,  to  unite  them 
to  himself ;  the  spirit  of  prudence,  to  guide  them  ;  the  spirit 
of  fortitude,  to  strengthen  them  ;  the  spirit  of  piety,  to  cOm- 
fort  them,  and  make  them  fervent;  the  spirit  of  peace,  to 
calm  their  passions  j  the  spirit  of  purity,  to  make  them 


pure  ;  the  spirit  of  liberty,  to  detach  them  from  all  earthly 
things ;  the  spirit  of  joy,  to  console  them  j  the  spirit  of 
humility,  to  inspire  them  with  a  mean  opinion  of  them 
selves  ;  the  spirit  of  obedience,  to  brin^  them  in  perfect 
subjection  to  the  divine  will  j  the  spirit  of  charity,  to 
accompany  all  their  thoughts  and  actions. 

2.  When  did  the  Holy  Ghost  come   down   upon    the 
apostles  ? 

On  the  feast  of  Pentecost  the  Holy  Ghost  came  down  upon 
the  apostles  in  the  shape  of  fiery  tongues. 

After  the  ascension  of  our  Saviour,  the  apostles  assem 
bled  together  in  an  upper-room  in  the  city  of  Jerusalem, 
and  remained  there  for  ten  days,  occupied  in  prayer,  the 
Blessed  Virgin  and  the  holy  women  being  with  them. 
The  roofs  of  the  houses  in  Palestine  being  flat,  the  upper- 
room  was  often  the  best  and  largest,  as  well  as  the  most 
retired.  It  was  in  this  upper-room  that  St.  Peter  proposed 
the  election,  by  lot,  of  an  apostle  to  take  the  place  of  the 
apo'state  Judas.  The  lot  fell  upo'n  Matthias,  who  took  at 
once  the  place  of  Judas.  The  sacred  assembly  was  com 
posed  of  about  one  hundred  and  twenty  persons,  awaiting 
the  coming  of  the  Holy  Spirit.  At  length,  on  the  tenth 
day  of  their  retreat,  the  Jewish  feast  of  Pentecost,  while 
they  were  all  assembled  together,  u  suddenly,"  about  nine 
o'clock,  "  there  came  a  sound  from  heaven,  as  of  a  mighty 
wind  coming,  and  it  filled  the  whole  house  where  they 
were  sitting  ;  and  there  appeared  to  them  parted  tongues, 
as  it  were  of  fire,  and  it  sat  upon  every  one  of  them. 
And  they  were  all  filled  with  the  Holy  Ghost ;  and  they 
began  to  speak  in  divers  tongues  the  wonderful  works  of 
God,  according  as  the  Holy  Ghost  gave  them  to  speak. " 
(Acts  ii;  2.)  No  sooner  had  the  Holy  Ghost  come  down 


upon  the  apostles,  than  he  at  once  banished  from  their 
minds  and  hearts  error,  ignorance,  prejudices,  worldly  mo 
tives,  earthly  desires,  and,  as  Christ  had  promised,  taught 
them  not  only  some,  but  all  truths.  In  a  moment  he 
changed  them  completely.  A  moment  before,  they  were 
ignorant ;  but  now  they  are  all  filled  with  the  most 
profound  knowledge.  A  moment  before,  they  could  not 
understand  the  plainest  truths ;  but  now  they  understand 
the  great  mysteries  of  religion.  Just  a  moment  before, 
they  were  ignorant  disciples  j  but  now  they  are  made  the 
teachers  of  all  nations.  Such  is  their  eloquence  and  thair 
power  of  mind,  that  they  convince  the  greatest  orators, 
and  confound  the  most  learned  philosophers.  On  the 
very  day  of  the  descent  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  St.  Peter 
preached  to  the  Jews,  and  converted  three  thousand  per 
sons.  Like  so  many  lions,  all  the  apostles  go  forth,  ani 
mated  with  zeal  and  charity.  No  obstacle,  no  power,  no 
force,  could  stop  their  progress.  The  sure  prospect  of  the 
most  cruel  death  could  not  prevent  them  from  performing 
the  duties  of  their  sacred  ministry.  Their  words,  animated 
with  the  love  of  God,  penetrated  and  inflamed  the  heart* 

of  their  hearers,  like  darts  of  fire.    The  cities  of  Jerusalem, 

'  f  I  4  /  -i 

Antioch,  Ephesus,  even  Rome  itself,  the  great  mistress  of 

the  world,  listen  with  rapture  and  amazement  to  the  burn 
ing  words  of  the  fishermen.  At  the  sound  of  their  voices 
the  temples  of  the  heathen  gods  fell,  as  the  walls  of  Jericho 
fell  at  the  sound  of  the  trumpet  of  Josue.  Regardless  of 
danger,  they  preached  Christ  crucified,  in  defiance  of  all 
the  powers  of  the  world.  They  passed  from  city  to  city, 
from  province  to  province,  from  kingdom  to  kingdom,  to 
preach  against  the  most  ancient  abuses  and  the  most  deeply- 
rooted  vices.  The  whole  world  opposed  them  j  but  they 


were  stronger  than  the  world.     The  cross  and  gibbet  were 
set  up  before  them  to  silence  them,  but  they  replied  :   "  We 
must  announce  the  things  that  we  have  seen  and  heard ; 
we  must  obey  God  more  than  man."     In  a  word,   they 
made  such  rapid  progress,  they  preached  with  such  won 
derful  success,  that  their  doctrine  reached  the  extremities 
of  the  world,  as  then  known.     It  was  thus  that  they  estab 
lished  the  kingdom  of  Christ  on  earth, — the  holy  Catholic 
Church, — not  by  the  force  of  arms,  not  by  the  severity  of 
cruel  laws,  not  by  means  of  wealth,  but  by  the  strength, 
light,  and  courage,  planted  in  their  souls  by  the  Holy  Ghost. 
In  defence  of  Christ's  doctrine,  they  even  laid  down  their 
lives.     St.  Peter  was  crucified  at  Rome,  with  his  head  down. 
On  the  same  day  St.  Paul,  who  had  been  especially  ap 
pointed  Apostle  of  the  Gentiles,   was  beheaded  in  Rome. 
St.  Andrew  was  crucified  in  Patras,  in  Greece.     St.  James 
the  Greater  was  beheaded.     St.  James  the  Less  was  cast 
down  from  the  battlements  of  the  temple.     St.  Simon  was 
sawed  in  two%    St.  John  the  Evangelist  was  cast  into  a 
cauldron  of  boiling  oil,  and,  being  mercifully  preserved,  he 
was  banished  to  the  isle  of  Patmos,  where  he  wrote  the 
Apocalypse.     Two  years  after,  he  returned  to  Ephesus, 
and  died  at  the  age  of  ninety.     We  learn  from  tradition 
that  the  other  apostles  also  suffered  and  died  for  the  sake 
of  the  Gospel  which  they  preached. 

3,  How  did  the  apostles  prove  their  divine  mission? 

By  many  miracles,  which  they  wrought  in  the  name  of 

If  we  open  the  books  of  the  Old  Testament,  we  find,  in 

!  ,     "  f  ^  /  '  ' 

almost  every  page,  accounts  of  miracles  worked  by  God  in 
behalf  of  hi»s  people.  In  every  great  emergency,  and 
whenever  it  was  expedient  to  warn,  to  protect,  tQ 


or  to  chastise,  we  find  the  hand  of  God  stretched  out  for 
the  performance  of  miracles.      When  our  Saviour  appeared 
in  this  world,  his  birth,  his  life,  his  death  and  resurrection, 
were    a   series  of  miracles.     He    established    his    divine 
mission  by  the  working    of  miracles.     His  apostles  and 
disciples  did  the  same,  under  his  eye,  and  by  his  positive 
direction  :    "  Going,"  said  he  to  them.  "  preach,  saying : 
The  kingdom  of  heaven  is  at  hand.     Heal  the  sick,  raise 
the  dead,  cleanse  the  lepers,  cast  out  deVils."  (Matt,  x,  7, 
8.)     Christ  knew  that  the  heathen  nations,  blinded  as  they 
were  with  superstition  and  idolatry,  sunk  in   sensuality, 
governed  by  their  brutal  passions,  and  having  no  distinct 
ideas  regarding  supernatural  things,  could  not,  without  any 
other  force  or  power  than  the  preaching  of  poor  fishermen, 
be   induced  to   forsake   their  false  gods  and  worship   an 
invisible  God.  nor  renounce  their  carnal  passions,  in  the 
hope  of  a  spiritual  reward  in  another  world.     Therefore, 
when  he  imparted  to  his  apostles  the  great  commission  to 
convert  the  world  to  his  religion,  he  granted  them,  at  the 
same  time,  the  poVer  of  miracles  j  thus  to  show  that  they 
were  really  God's  ministers, and  that  he  spoke  and  wrought 
through  them.     Hence  we  find  that  the  apostles  continued 
to    work    miracles    after    the    ascension    of  their  Divine 
Master.     The  first  preaching  of  the  Gospel  in  Jerusalem, 
after  the  day  of  Pentecost,  was  accompanied,  and  rendered 
effectual,  by  the  miraculous  healing  of  the  lame  man,  at 
the  gate  of  the  temple,  by  St.  Pe'ter  and  St.  John.     St. 
Peter  also  cured  Eneas  of  the  palsy,  and  raised  Tabitha  to 
life.  His  very  shadow  cured  the  sick  (Acts  v,  15) ;  and  even 
the  handkerchiefs  of  St.  Paul  were  the  instruments  em 
ployed  by  God  for  signal  manifestations  of  divine  power. 
In  a  word,    the   Gospel  was  introduced  and  everywhere 


established  by  miracles,  as  St.  Mark  tells  us  at  the  end  of 
his  Gospel  :  "And  the  apostles,  going  forth,  preached 
everywhere :  the  Lord  working  withal,  and  confirming 
their  doctrine  with  miracles  that  followed." 

4.  Is,  then,  the  doctrine  of  the  apostles  to  be  received 
as  the  doctrine  of  Christ  ? 

Yes,  for  Christ  said  to  his  apostles :  u  He  that  heareth 
you,  heareth  me."  (Luke  x,  16.)  u  It  is  not  you  that  speak, 
but  the  Holy  Ghost."  (Mark  xiii,  11.) 

Allured  by  no  earthly  advantage,  and  subdued  by  no 
other  force  than  that  of  the  truth  preached  and  confirmed 
by  the  miracles  of  the  apostles,  the  learned  and  the  igno 
rant,  the  Jews  and  the  Gentiles,  Greeks  and  barbarians, 
meekly  bent  their  necks  to  the  yoke  of  Christ,  shook 
off  their  ancient  prejudices,  and  professed  themselves  the 
followers  of  a  crucified  God.  To  become  a  Christian,  a 
follower  of  Christ,  in  those  days,  was  almost  equivalent  to 
certain  martyrdom.  The  most  trying  of  torments  were 
employed  against  the  Christians  :  racks  and  wheels,  to 
stretch  and  disjoint  their  limbs ;  iron  teeth,  to  tear  their 
flesh ;  fire,  gridirons,  boiling  oil,  melted  lead,  to  torture 
them ;  wild  beasts,  to  devour  them.  Some  of  them  were 
flayed  alive,  or  scourged  till  their  bowels  burst  forth ; 
others  were  sawed  in  two  j  some,  again,  had  their  hands 
and  feet  cut  off,  their  eyes  and  teeth  plucked  out,  their 
nails  torn  off;  some  were  wrapped,  in  pitch,  and  used  as 
torches  to  light  up  the  streets  of  infidel  cities.  But  their 
faith  was  stronger  than  all  torments  :  it  overcame  them 
all,  it  overcame  death  itself. 

And  the  faith  of  the  early  Christians  was  so  strong, 
because  they  beheld  in  the  apostles  Jesus  Christ  himself 
continuing,  in  them  and  through  them,  the  work  of  redemp- 


tion  for  the  honor  of  his  heavenly  Father  and  the  salvation 
of  mankind.  When  they  heard  the  apo'stles  preach,  they 
most  firmly  believed  that  Jesus  Christ  preached  to  them, 
because  he  had  said  to  those  preachers  :  (t  Go  and  teach  all 
nations  ;  he  who  heareth  you,  heareth  me."  "  You  despised 
me  not,"  writes  St.  Paul  to  the  Galatians,  "you  'did  not 
reject  me,  but  you  received  me  as  an  angel  of  God,  even 
as  Christ  Jesus.  I  bear  you  witness  that,  if  it  could  be 
done,  you  would  have  plucked  out  your  own  eyes,  and 
would  have  given  them  to  me."  (Gal.  iv,  14,  15.)  The 
same  apostle  says  of  the  Thessalonians  :  "  We  thank  God 
without  ceasing:  because,  when  you  had  received  of  us 
the  word  of  the  hearing  of  God,  you  received  it  not  as  the 
word  of  men,  but,  as  it  is  indeed,  the  word  of  God,  who 
worketh  in  you  that  have  believed."  (1  Thess.  ii,  13.) 
Yes,  "  I  in  them  "  (the  apostles  and  their  successors),  says 
Jesus  Christ,  u  and  thou,  Father,  in  me.  The  glorj> 
which  thou  hast  given  me,  I  have  given  them."  (John  xvii, 
22,  23).  Indeed,  the  apostles  and  their  successors  are  men 
all  divine.  The  royal  prophet  says  of  them :  "  Ye  are 
gods."  To  forgive  sins,  to  cause  the  Holy  Ghost  to  dwell 
in  the  soul,  to  change  bread  and  wine  into  the  body  and 
blood  of  Christ,  are  miracles  that  can  be  performed  only  by 
God  himself.  Yet,  by  the  command  of  God,  his  priests 
perform  these  miracles  every  day.  They  may,  therefore, 
truly  be  said  to  be  gods  j  for,  as  St.  Gregory  Nazianzen 
says,  "  to  have  the  power  of  an  apostle  of  Christ  is  to  be 
a  god  on  earth,  with  the  commission  to  make  gods  of  his 
fellow-men."  Next  to  God,  an  apostle,  or  a  successor  of 
an  apostle,  ranks  highest  in  power.  This  truth  can  be 
understood  only  in  heaven.  If  men  upon  earth  could 
fully  understand  this  truth,  they  would  die  of  love. 


What  admiration  and  respect,  what  love  and  veneration, 
would  be  elicited  for  him  whom  the  Lord  would,  associate 
with  himself  to  govern  the  universe,  to  rule  with  him  the 
course  of  the  stars,  the  changes  of  the  seasons,  and, 
if  you  will,  to  create  with  him  new  worlds  !  A  vocation 
so  marvellous  would  place  this  privileged  mortal  in  a  rank 
apart.  But  the  apostles  and  all  their  successors  are  the 
objects  of  a  distinction  far  more  glorious.  They  are  not 
called,  it  is  true,  to  direct  the  course  of  the  sun,  to  excite 
or  calm  the  winds — all  that  is  within  the  sphere  of 
nature  and  time.  They  are  called  to  a  higher  office :  to 
give  to  heaven  the  elect  ;  to  snatch  victims  from  hell ;  to 
sanctify  souls  j  to  concur  in  the  redemption  of  a  world, 
spiritual  and  indestructible  ;  to  fill  the  greatest  of  kingdoms 
with  inhabitants,  all  radiant  with  glory,  divine  and  ever 

Since  God,  then,  has  placed  the  apostles  and  all  their 
successors, — the  popes,  bishops,  and  priests  of  the  Catholic 
Church, — upon  the  thrones  of  his  own  power  and  sanctity  ; 
since  he  has  given  them  the  titles  of  "  saviours  of  the 
world,"  since  he  calls  them  his  "  cooperators  in  the  divine 
work  of  redemption/'  what  wonder  if  he  commands  all 
men  to  hear,  to  obey,  and  to  honor  them,  as  they  are  bound 
to  hear,  to  obe'y,  and  to  honor  God  himself!  "  He  that 
heareth  you,"  says  he,  "  heareth  me  ;  "  "  He  that  toucheth 
you,  toucheth  the  apple  of  mine  eye."  In  the  apostles, 
therefore,  and  in  their  successors,  every  good  Christian 
sees  the  ambassadors  of  the  blessed  Trinity:  "Go,"  says 
Christ  to  them, — "go  and  baptize  all  nations  in  the  name 
of  the  Father,  and  of  the  /  Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghost." 
In  them,  therefore,  the  Christian  beholds  the  representatives 
of  God  the  Father,  to  sustain  his  cause,  to  make  his  name 


respected,  to  defend  his  interests,  to  promote  his  glory,  to 
vindicate  his  honor,  to  adopt  for  him  children,  and  to 
prepare  them  for  his  service  and  his  kingdom.  The  good 
Christian  sees,  in  the  apostles  and  all  their  successors, 
the  representatives  of  the  Son  of  God  j  because,  in  his 
name,  and  by  his  authority,  they  preach  his  Gospel,  offer 
in  sacrifice  his  body  and  blood,  dispense  his  mysteries  and 
his  graces.  He  sees  in  them  the  agents  of  the  Holy 
Ghost :  "  It  is  not  you  that  speak,"  says  Christ,  "  but  the 
Holy  Ghost."  (Mark  xiii,  11.) 

5,  Does,  t  lu  11,  the  Holy  Ghost  abide  with  the  Church  I 
,  Yes ;  forf    Christ  promised  that  the  Holy  Ghost  would 
always  abide  ivith  the  Church. 

Our  divine  Lord  made  a  great  promise  to  all  his  faithful 
followers,  when  he  said:  If  you  love  me,  I  will  pray  to 
my  Father,  and  he  will  send  you  the  Holy  Spirit,  that  ho 
may  always  dwell  in  you.  "  If  you  love  me,  keep  my 
commandments.  And  I  will  ask  the  Father  that  he  shall 
give  you  another  Paraclete  (Comforter),  that  he  may  abide 
witfy  you  forever."  (John  xiv,  15,  16.)  This  promise  was 
fulfilled  on  the  tenth  day  after  his  ascension  into  heaven. 
On  that  day  the  apostles  did  not  receive  the  Holy  Ghost 
for  themselves  alone  j  they  received  him  also  to  com 
municate  him,  by  themselves  and  their  successors,  to  all 
faithful  followers  of  Christ.  Indeed,  it  is  not  even  natural 
to  suppose  that  the  special  gifts  and  powers  by  which  the 
knowledge  of  Christ,  and  faith  in  him,  were  to  be  spread 
over  the  world,  were  to  die  out  with  the  first  few  men  to 
whom  those  gifts  and  powers  were  given.  St.  Luke  tells  us 
that,  when  the  apostles  heard  that  Samaria  had  received 
the  word  of  God,  they  sent  unto  them  Peter  and  John. 



These  two  apostles  prayed  for  them  that  they  might  re 
ceive  the  Holy  Ghost,  who  was  not  as  yet  come  upon  a^iy 
of  them,  Then  they  laid  their  hands  upon  them,  and 
they  received  the  Holy  Ghost.  (Acts  viii,  14-17.)  Thus 
did  the  faithful  receive  the  Holy  Ghost  by  the  ministry 
of  the  apostles  or  their  sucessors,  both  in  baptism  and  con 
firmation.  On  this  account  St.  Paul  writes  :  "  The  charity 
of  God  is  poured  forth  in  our  hearts  by  the  H61y  Ghost, 
who  is  given  to  us."  (Rom.  v,  5.)  Hence,  St.  Bonaventure 
says,  that  "  the  just  receive,  not  only  the  gifts,  but  also  the 
person,  of  the  Holy  Ghost"  (1  Sent.,  d.  14,  a.  2,  9,  1). 
because,  when  the  Holy  Ghost  infuses  his  charity  and 
other  gifts  into  a  soul,  he  is  so  united  to  his  gifts,  that  he 
infuses  them  together  with  himself.  The  same  is  taught  by 
the  renowned  Master  of  Sentences  (Lib.  i,  dist.  14  et  15), 
who  quotes  St.  Augustine  and  others  in  support  of  this 
doctrine.  "  Grace,"  says  Suarez,  "  establishes  a  most 
perfect  friendship  between  God  and  man;  and  such  a 
friendship  requires  the  presence  of  the  friend,  that  is,  the 
Holy  Ghost,  who  stays  in  the  soul  of  his  friend,  in  order  to 
unite  himself  most  intimately  with  him,  and  reside  in  his 
soul,  as  in  his  temple."  It  is  for  this  reason  that  St.  Paul 
writes  to  the  Corinthians:  "You  are  the  temple  of  the 
living  God  •  "  as  God  saith  :  "I  will  dwell  in  them,  and 
walk  among  them,  and  I  will  be  their  God,  and  they  shall 
be  my  people  "  (Lev.  xxvi,  12) ;  "I  will  be  a  father  to  you, 
and  you  shall  be  my  sons  and  daughters,  saith  the  Lord." 
(Jer.  xxxi,  9.)  Since  that  remarkable  day  on  which  the 
Holy  Ghost  came  down  upon  the  apostles,  he  has  never 
abandoned,  and  will  never  abandon,  the  faithful  followers 
of  Christ,  the  living  members  of  his  Church. 


6.  Why  does  the  Holy  Ghost  abide  with  the  Church  ? 

To  preserve  the  Church  in  the  purity  of  doctrine  and  in  the 
unity  of  faith. 

"  Truth,"  says  St.  Thomas  Aquinas,  "  is  the  good — 
the  life  of  the  intellect ;  whilst  falsehood  is  the  evil — the 
death  of  the  intellect.  As  long  as  man  remained  innocent, 
it  was  impossible  for  man's  intellect  to  believe  that  to  be 
true  which  was  really  false.  As,  in  the  body  of  the  first 
man,  there  could  not  be  the  presence  of  any  evil,  so,  in 
like  manner,  in  his  soul  there  could  not  be  the  belief  in 
anything  false."  But,  alas !  ever  since  the  fall  of  our 
first  parents,  there  have  been  two  elements  continually 
combating  each  other, — truth  and  falsehood,  virtue  and 
vice,  true  faith  and  heresy  and  infidelity.  Satan  is  called 
in  Holy  Scripture  the  father  of  lies.  From  the  beginning 
of  the  world  he  tried  to  turn  all  religious  truths  into  lies. 
He  practised  this  black  art  in  paradise  j  and  haVing 
succeeded  in  making  our  first  parents  believe  his  lying 
tongue,  he  has  ever  since  continued  to  practise  it  on  then 
descendants,  thus  to  draw  them  away  from  God  whom  he 
hates,  and  to  spread  error  and  vice  among  men.  But  in 
spite  of  the  efforts  made  by  Satan  and  his  agents, — the 
enemies  of  truth, — to  destroy  and  falsify  all  religious 
truths,  they  never  succeeded  in  obscuring  it  in  the  Holy 
Catholic  Church.  In  her,  Christ's  holy  ddctrine  has  always 
been  preserved  pure  and  uncorrupted,  because  the  Holy 
Ghost,  Jthe  Spirit  of  truth,  reigns  forever  in  the  Church, 
and  abides  with  her;  for  which  reason,  in  the  Catholic 
Church,  even  children  have  an  intuition  of  truth  without 
fear  arid  confusion,  and  talk  of  God  and  his  mysteries 
as  if  they  had  conversed  with  angels,  while  they  dis 
play  a  clear  knowledge  of  the  whole  circle  of  revealed 


truths,  in  comparison  with  which  knowledge  the  wild 
guesses  and  perpetual  contradictions  of  the  most  famous 
and  learned  pagans,  or  unbelieving  philosophers  or  secta 
ries,  are  but  inarticulate  cries. 

One  day  a  little  Irish  girl  was  weeping  to  find  herself 
in  a  Protestant  school,  to  which  she  had  been  carried  by 
force,  and  where  it  was  considered  a  useful  employment 
of  time  to  blaspheme  the  Mother  of  God.  "  How  do  you 
know  she  is  in  heaven  ?  "  said  a  grim  Protestant  spinster 
to  the  little  girl.  The  child  knew  very  well  that  Our 
Lady  is  the  Queen  of  heaven,  and  enthroned  by  the  side  of 
her  divine  Son,  but  had  never  asked  herself  how  she  knew  it, 
nor  met  any  one  before  who  was  impudent  enough  to  deny 
it.  She  winced  for  a  moment,  as  if  she  had  received  a 
blow,  then  flinging  back  tho  long  hair  which  fell  over  her 
face,  this  child  of  a  Galway  peasant  fiercely  answered : 
"  How  do  I  know  she  is  in  heaven  ?  Why,  you  Protes 
tants  don't  believe  in  purgatory.  If  she  is  not  in  heaven, 
she  must  be  in  hell.  It's  a  pretty  son  who  would  send 
his  mother  to  hell !  "  Such  an  answer  will  surprise  no  Cath 
olic;  it  may  astonish  a  Protestant.  Other  children  say 
like  words  a  hundred  times.  The  gift  of  faith  is  a  light 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  which  enlightens  the  minds  of  the 
faithful,  even  of  children,  to  know  and  to  believe  that 
what  the  Church  teaches  is  a  holy  and  divine  doctrine. 

X7.  How  does  the  Holy  Ghost  preserve  the  Church  in  the 
purity  of  faith  ? 

By f  making  the  head  of  the  Church  the  infallible  teacher 
in  matters  of  faith  and  mo'rals. 

When  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  established  his  Church,  he 
knew  that  in  all  future  a^es  certain  men,  moved  bv 

/  /  /  /  X 

human  weakness  or  Satanic  malice,  or  by  both  combined, 


would  arise  to  corrupt  or  misinterpret  the  holy  doctrine  of 
his  Church ;  for,  men  are  free  agents,  and  if  they  will 
go  against  God,  God,  haVing  given  them  this  most  glorious 
privilege  of  freedom,  does  not  deprive  them  of  it,  e'ven 
when  they  use  it  against  himself,  though,  as  he  has 
unmistakably  warned  them,  he  will  call  them  to  strict 
account  for  their  use  or  abuse  of  man's  noblest  gift.  Now, 
to  remove  all  doubts  about  the  true  meaning  of  Christ's 
doctrine,  and  to  preserve  it  pure  and  free  even  from  every 
chance  of  error,  it  was  necessary  that  there  should  be 
some  one  privileged  by  God  to  state  plainly,  with  divine 
certainty,  that  doctrine  in  all  points  of  faith  and  m6rals ; 
in  other  words,  it  was  necessary  that  there  should  be  a 
supreme  judge  to  decide  in  all  disputed  points  of  divine  Jaw, 

from  whose  sentence  there  should   be  no  appeal.     With- 

/         f       /  /  /         / 

out  this  necessary   safeguard,  the  way  was  forever  open 

to  error,  and   the   work   of  Christ    on    earth  practically 

If  every  man  in  the  country  were  to  explain  the  laws  of 
the  State  as  he  pleases,  there  would  be  nothing  but  con 
fusion  and  disorder  in  society.  In  like  manner,  if  every 
man  were  to  interpret  the  sacred,  eternal  law  of  God, 
the  doctrine  of  Christ,  as  he  pleases,  there  would  be  noth 
ing  but  confusion  and  disorder  in  religion.  In  order  to 
prevent  confusion  and  disorder  in  society,  human  wisdom 
found  it  necessary  to  appoint  a  supreme/  judge  to  decide 
ultimately  in  all  disputed  points  of  civil  law.  Now,  if 
even  human  wisdom  sees  the  necessity  of  appointing  a 
supreme  judge,  to  decide  ultimately  in  all  points  of  civil 
law,  it  is  most  clear  that  God,  who  is  infinite  wisdom,  could 

I  -  /  T  I 

and  did  not  fail  to  appoint  a  supreme  judge  to  decide  ulti 
mately  in  all  points  of  divine  law,  in  order  thus  to  prevent    i 


the  possibility  of  confusion  in  religion.  There  never  was 
a  time  when  men  were  left  to  themselves  to  fashion  their 
own  religion,  to  invent  their  own  creed,  their  own  form 
of  worship,  and  to  decide  in  matters  of  religion,  as  they 
pleased*  There  always  existed  on  earth  a  visible  teaching 
authority,  to  which  it  was  the  bounden  duty  of  every 
man  to  submit.  During  the  four  thousand  years  that 
elapsed  before  the  coming  of  the  Redeemer,  the  doctrines 
that  were  to  be  believed,  the  feasts  that  were  to  be 
observed,  the  sacrifices,  the  ceremonies  of  worship, 
everything  connected  with  religion,  were  regulated  by  the 
living,  authoritative  voice  of  the  patriarchs,  the  priests,  and 
the  prophets.  In  the  Old  Law,  God  appointed  a  tribunal, 
presided  over  by  the  high-priest,  to  judge  in  all  contro 
versies,  both  of  doctrine  and  morals.  The  decision  of  this 
tribunal  was  final,  and  without  appeal.  The  Jewish  his 
torian,  Josephus,  who  was  well  acquainted  with  the  laws  ana 
religion  of  his  own  nation,  says  (lib.  2,  contra  Appium) : 
"The  high-priest  offers  sacrifice  to  God  before  the  other 
priests  j  he  guards  the  laws,  judges  controversies,  punishes 
the  guilty,  and  whoever  disobeys  him  is  punished  as  one 
that  is  impious  toward  God."  But  a  still  greater  authority 
than  Josephus,  the  word  of  God  itself,  bears  witness  to 
the  fact  (Deut.  xvii,  8-12) :  "  If  thou  perceive,"  says  Holy 
Scripture,  "  that  there  be  among  you  a  hard  and  doubtful 
matter  in  judgment  between  blood  and  blood,  cause  and 
cause,  and  thou  seest  that  the  words  of  the  judges  within 
the  gates  do  vary,  arise  and  go  up  to  the  place  which  the 
Lord  thy  God  shall  choose.  And  thou  shalt  come  to  the 
priests  and  to  the  judge,  that  shall  be  at  that  time,  and 
thou  shalt  ask  them,  and  they  shall  show  thee  the  truth 
of  the  judgment.  And  thou  shalt  do  whatsoever  thev  shall 


say,  and  thou  stialt  follow  their  sentence.  Neither  shalt  thou 
decline  to  the  right  hand,  nor  to  the  left  hand.  But 
he  that  will  be  proud,  and  refuse  to  obey  the  command 
ments  of  the  priest  who  ministereth  at  the  time  to  the  Lord 
thy  God,  and  to  the  decree  of  the  judge,  that  man  shall  die, 
and  thou  shalt  take  away  the  evil  from  Israel."  Here, 
then,  is  clearly  a  tribunal,  appointed  by  Almighty  God 
himself,  to  decide  in  the  last  resort, — a  tribunal  from  whose 
sentence  there  is  no  appeal.  Consider  carefully  every  word 
of  the  inspired  text.  There  is  no  exception,  the  rule  is  for 
all;  the  terrible  sentence  is  pronounced  against  every  trans 
gressor  :  whosoeVer  shall  refuse  to  abide  by  the  decision 
of  the  high-priest,  shall  die  the  death.  Witness  the  puV 
ishment  of  Core,  Dathan  and  Abiron  :  the  earth  opened 
and  swallowed  them  up  for  refusing  to  obey.  This  su 
preme  tribunal  remained  intact  until  the  coming  of  the 
Redeemer.  Our  Lord  himself  assures  us  of  this  :  "  The 
Scribes  and  Pharisees  have  sat  on  the  chair  of  Mdses. 
All  things,  therefore,  whatsoever  they  shall  say  to  your 
observe  and  do.77  (Matt,  xxiii,  2.)  Again,  our  Lord  assurer 
us  that  he  came  not  to  destroy  the  law,  but  to  make  it  per- 
feet.  He  therefore  established,  in  the  New  Law,  in  hia 
Church,  that  which,  in  the  Old  Law,  was  most  necessary 
for  the  preservation  of  faith  and  morals,  He  gave  to  the 
whole  world  an  infallible  judge  and  teacher  in  the  person 
of  St.  Peter,  the  head  of  his  Church,  and  in  every  successor 
of  St.  Peter,  to  decide  ultimately  in  all  points  of  faith  and 

morals.      Christ  himself  assures  us  that  Peter  and  his  suc- 

i  (  ' 

ccssors  are  the  infallible  teachers  of  his  religion.      He  told 

St.  Peter  that,  by  his  prayer  to  his  heavenly  Father,  he 
had  obtained  the  gift  of  infallibility  for  him  and  all  his 
successors:  "I  have  prayed  for  thee  (Peter),  that  thy 


faith  fail  not ;  and  thou,  being  once,  converted,  confirm  thy 
brethren."  (Luke  xxii,  31,  32.)  Christ  prayed  to  his 
heavenly  Father  that  St.  Peter  and  his  successors  should 
possess  the  gift  of  teaching  his  religion  infallibly,  or  with 
divine  certainty  ;  because  he  wished  that  the  never-failing 
faith  of  St.  Peter  and  his  successors  should  be  forever  the 
foundation-stone  of  his  Church.  He  assi/res  us  of  this  great 
truth,  when  he  asked  the  apostles,  a  Who  do  you  say  that 
I  am  ?  "  (Matt,  xvi,  15);  to  which  question  Peter  made 
answer,  saying :  "  Thou  art  Christ,  the  Son  of  the  living 
God."  To  this  reply  of  St.  Peter,  Christ  most  solemnly 
answered  :  "  Blessed  art  thou,  Simon  Bar- Jona  :  because 
flseh  and  blood  hath  not  revealed  it  to  thee,  but  my 
Father  who  is  in  heaven.  And  I  say  to  thee  that  thou 
art  Pe'ter,  and  upon  this  rock  I  will  build  my  Church." 
In  these  words  Christ  plainly  says :  As  it  is  my  Father 
who  has  made  known  to  thee,  Peter,  that  I  am  his  Son, 
so,  also,  I  make  known  to  the  whole  world  that  thou 
and  thy  successors  shall  always  know  and  understand 
who  I  am,  and  what  I  have  taught,  because  I  have 
intrusted  you  with  my  whole  flock  :  teachers  and  hearers, 
priests  and  people,  rulers  and  subjects  :  "  Feed  my  lambs, 
feed  my  sheep."  (John  xxi,  16.)  Your  faith,  I  most 
solemnly  promise,  shall  not  fail,  since  no  power  shall  pre 
vail  against  thee  and  thy  successors,  so  as  to  cause  you  to 
teach  anything  else  than  I  myself  have  taught :  "  The 
gates  of  hell  shall  not  prevail  against  my  Church,"  built 
upon  your  never-failing  faith.  (Matt,  xvi,  18.)  Hence  it 
is  that  within  the  Church  the  successor  of  Peter  speaks 
like  his  Master,  "  as  one  having  authority,"  that  he  and 
all  the  elect  of  God  obey  that  authority.  They  know  that 
he  who  said,  "  Thou  art  Cephas  (a  rock),  and  upon  this 


rock  I  will  build  my  Church,"  lives  and  reigns  in  the  Holy 
See.  There  is  his  throne  on  earth.  There  is  the  supreme 
tribunal  before  which  the  saints  have  always  pleaded. 
"  To  it."  as  St.  Irenseus  wrote,  "  all  the  Churches  must  have 
recourse  ;  "  with  it,  all  the  faithful  everywhere  must  always 
agree."  St.  Athanasius,  driven  from  his  see,  appeals  to 
Julius,  the  Roman  Pontiff.  St.  Dionysius  of  Alexandria, 
accused  of  heresy,  implores  Pope  Stephen  to  examine  and 
judge  his  faith.  St.  Pexter  of  Alexandria  has  recourse  to 
St.  Damasus.  St.  Cyril  of  Alexandria  flies  to  St.  Celes- 
tine.  St.  Jero'me  tells  the  Roman  Pontiff,  "Whoso 
gathereth  not  with  thee,  scattereth."  Tertullian  calls  him, 
"  the  bishop  of  bishops."  St.  Ambrose  says  that  where 
he  is  "  there  is  the  Church."  St.  Augustine  accepts  the 
judgment  of  St.  Innocent  as  that  of  heaven.  St.  Cyprian 

told  Antonianus,  "  To  be  united  with  the  See  of  Rome  is  to 

f '  •  / 

be    united    to    the    Catholic    Church ; "    and,   when   even 

heretics  appealed  to  the  Sovereign  Pontiff,  pointed  out  the 
absurdity  of  their  "  going  to  the  Chair  of  Peter,  whence 
sacerdotal  unity  takes  its  rise."  The  amazing  words  of 
our  Lord  to  St.  Peter  find  their  sure  interpretation  in  the 
actual  history  of  the  Church,  and  the  loving  obedience  of 
tlje  saints.  The  one  is  but  the  fulfilment  of  the  other. 
Everywhere  the  Roman  Pontiff, — a  Victor,  a  Damasus,  a 
Stephen,  an  Innocent,  or  a  Gregory, — claims  the  same 
supreme  authority,  and  everywhere  the  saints  confess, 

with  acclamation,  that  he  derives  it  from  God.     Every 

/  f  i 

part    of    Christendom    bears    witness,    from    the    earliest 

ages,  that  the  Church  is  built  on  Peter.  At  the  same 
moment,  as  Socrates  relates  in  his  history,  the  Bishops 
of  Constantinople,  Gaza,  Ancyra,  and  Adrianople,  driven 
from  their  sees,  commit  their  cause  to  Pope  Julius.  The 


Council  of  Antioch  adopts  the  words  of  Juvenal,  Bishop 
of  Jerusalem,  that  "it  is  an  apostolic  tradition  that  the 
Church  of  Antioch  should  be  directed  and  judged  by  the 
Church  of  Rome."  "Peter  has  spoken  by  Leo/'  says 
the  Council  of  Chalcedon.  Churches,  the  most  remote 
from  the  centre  of  unity,  proclaim  the  same  truth  as  loudly 
as  those  which  are  contiguous  to  it.  At  the  Council  of 
Aries,  the  Bishops  of  London,  York,  and  Lincoln,  confess, 
in  the  name  of  all  their  colleagues,  the  rights  and  pre 
rogatives  of  the  Holy  See.  /  When  England  had  finally 
conquered  Wales,  and  the  Bishop  of  St.  Davids  was  sum 
moned  to  do  homage  to  the  See  of  Canterbury,  he 
replied  that  the  British  bishops  had  never  recognized 
any  superior  "  except  the  Holy  See."  The  Church  of 
Scotland  gave  a  similar  answer  to  the  Archbishop  of  York 
when  he  claimed  jurisdiction  over  it,  and  "the  answer 
was  approved/''  as  Lingard  observes,  "  by  Pope  Clement 
III."  These  are  only  a  few  examples  out  of  thousands. 
There  is  no  opposing  voice  in  the  whole  multitude  of  the 

It  is  clear  that  the  infallibility  of  the  pope  was  implied 
and  assumed  by  the  Fathers  of  the  Church  in  every  word 
they  uttered.  Without  this  conviction,  all  that  the  saints 
said  of  the  Roman  Pontiff  and  his  office  would  have  been  idle 
verbiage  or  criminal  exaggeration.  Their  own  fervent 
confessions  prove  that  the  perpetuity  of  the  faith  was  not 
a  more  certain  truth  to  them  than  the  ineYrancy  of  its 
chief  witness.  They  understood,  from  the  reiterated 
declarations  of  our  Lord  to  Peter,  unique  in  the  whole 
history  of  God's  dealings  with  man,  that  the  Holy  See 
was  designed  to  be  the  eternal  bulwark  against  heresy, 
the  rock  of  the  Church,  the  centre  of  unity,  and  arbiter 


of  the  faith.  And  they  said  so.  They  could  not  affirm 
this  fundamental  truth  more  explicitly  than  their  Lord 
had  done,  nor  exalt  the  functions  of  his  Vicar  more 
magnificently  than  he  who  gave  to  him  "  the  keys  of  the 
kingdom  of  heaven.77  And  the  councils  echoed  the 
same  imperishable  doctrine.  They  neither  assembled 
without  the  pope's  permission,  nor  dared  to  promulgate 
their  decrees  without  his  sanction. 

The  pope,  by  his  own  motion,  often  condemned  and 
defined  Catholic  doctrine,  both  before  and  after  the  first 
general  council  j  and  if  the  obstinacy  of  the  party  con 
demned  by  the  pope  made  it  advisable  to  have  recourse 
to  general  councils,  then  those  councils,  after  the  most 
mature  deliberation,  were  never  found  to  do  anything  else 
than  adhere  to  the  sentence  already  passed  by  the  pope. 
The  Council  of  Ephesus,  in  forming  its  judgment  against 
Nestorius,  said  that  it  did  so,  "  following  the  canons  and 
the  epistle  of  the  pope."  The  same  council  also  ratified, 
without  any  further  examination,  the  papal  condemnation 
of  Pelagianism. 

The  Council  of  Chalcedon,  in  drawing  up  its  decisions 
on  the  point  of  controversy,  did  not  appeal  to  the  synod 
whicK  had  been  held  at  Constantinople  under  Flavian  ;  it 
appealed  only  to  the  decree  of  the  pontiff. 

In  the  judgment  upon  Eutyches,  Cecropius,  Bishop  of 
Sebaste,  declared,  in  the  name  of  all  his  brethren,  that  the 
Bishop  of  Rome  had  sent  to  them  a  formulary  •  that  they 
all  followed  him,  and  subscribed  his  epistle. 

The  Sixth  General  Council,  in  like  manner,  declared 
that  it  adhered  to  the  dogmatic  epistle  of  Pope  Agatho, 
and  by  it  condemned  the  heresy. 

"  The  Bishop  of  Rome,"  say  the  Greek  Synods  and 


doctors  of  the  Church,  "has  no  need  of  being  taught, 
because  he  knows,  with  an  unerring  knowledge,  what  is 
requisite  for  the'  unity  of  the  bo'dy  of  the  Church." 
(Alzog's  "Univ.  Ch.  H.,"  p.  674.) 

The  decrees  of  the  Fifth  General  Council,  in  381,  were 
not  published  as  binding  on  conscience  before  they  had 
been  confirmed  and  declared  as  sound  Catholic  doctrine 
by  the  pope,  for  the  simple  reason  that  Christ  bound  him 
self  solemnly  only  to  Peter  and  his  successors^  that  their  faith 
should  not  fail ;  that  is,  that  e'very  one  of  them  would 
always  be  so  enlightened  by  the  Holy  Ghost  as  to  under 
stand  the  true  meaning  of  his  doctrine,  and  state  and  teach 
it  plainly  with  divine  certainty^. 

When  the  Fathers  at  Chalcedon  said,  "Peter  hath 
sp6ken  by  Leo,"  they  did  not  mean,  "  Peter  hath  spoken 
lies  by  Leo/7  but  that  the  voice  of  the  pope  in  every  age 
is  the  voice  of  Peter,  as  his  is  of  the  God  who  said  to  him, 

'  f  ' 

"Feed  my  sheep."  "Peter  is  not  dead,"  as  St.  Ambrose 
said  ;  and  when  a  great  saint  cried  out,  long  ages  ago,  to 
the  Roman  Pontiff  of  his  day,  "Thou  judgest  all,  but  art 
judged  by  none,"  he  did  not  propound  the  senseless  doc 
trine  that  the  Church  is  subject  to  a  fallible  authoVity,  but 
that  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles  rules  her  to  the  end  of 
time,  and  that  therefore  the  pope  was  all  that  St.  Bernard 
and  St.  Francis  of  Sales  called  him  in  their  day — all  that 
the  Vatican  Council  has  proclaimed  him  in  ours.  It  was  for 
all  the  saints  of  God  an  elementary  Christian  truth  that 
"  exrror  can  have  no  access  to  the  Roman  Church,"  as 
St.  Cyprian  confessed,  because,  as  St.  Ambrose  and  St. 
Augustine  declared,  "  the  Chair  of  Peter  is  the  rock  which 
the  gates  of  hell  will  never  overcome."  "  The  faith  of  the 
Apostolic  See,"  says  Pope  Hormisdas.  "  has  always  been 


inviolate;  she  has  preserved  the  Christian  religion  in  its 
integrity  and  purity  j  therefore,  anathema  upon  all  who 
depart  from  this  faith.'7  (Alzog's  "  Univ.  Ch.  H.,"  p.  674.) 

It  has,  then,  always  b^en  the  belief  of  the  -Catholic 
Church  the  that  Pope,  in  his  solemn  decisions  in  matters 
of  faith  and  morals,  is  infallible  j  that  is,  he  cannot  be 
deceived  nor  deceive :  in  other  words,  that  what  the 
pope  teaches  when  he  speaks  to  all  the  faithful  as  chief 
pastor  and  teacher  of  the  Church,  is  infallibly  true.  This 
is  an  article  of  faith  which  we  must  believe  as  firmly 
as  we  believe  that  there  is  a  God  j  to  say  or  even  to 
think  otherwise  is  to  be  an  apostate  from  the  faith 
before  God. 

u  We  teach  and  define,"  say  the  Fathers  of  the  Vatican 
Council,  "  that  it  is  a  dogma  (an  article  of  faith)  divinely 
revealed ;  that  the  Roman  Pontiff,  when  he  speaks  ex 
cathedra, — that  is,  when,  in  the  discharge  of  the  office  of 
pastor  and  doctor  of  all  Christians,  by  virtue  of  his 
supreme  apostolic  authority  he  defines  a  doctrine  regal-d 
ing  faith  or  morals  to  be  held  by  the  Universal  Church, — 
by  the  divine  assistance  promised  to  him  in  blessed  P^ter, 
is  possessed  of  that  infallibility  with  which  the  Divine 
Redeemer  willed  that  his  Church  should  be  endowed  for 
defining  doctrine  regarding  faith  or  morals ;  and  that, 
therefore,  such  definitions  of  the  Roman  Pontiff  are  irre- 
formable  of  themselves,  and  not  from  the  consent  of  the 
Church.  But  if  any  one — which  may  God  avert! — presume 
to  contradict  this  our  definition,  let  him  be  anathema." 
(Cap.  iv.)  Now  if  any  one  asks  : 

8.  When  docs  the  pope,  by  the  assistance  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  teach  infallibly? 

We    answer :     The  pope   teaches   infallibly   when,    as 


teacher  of  all  Christians,  he  defines  a  doctrine  concerning 
faith  or  morals. 

We  do  riot  claim  for  the  pope  infallibility  in  his  opinion, 
nor  in  his  conversation,  nor  when  writing  a  book  of 
theology  as  a  private  doctor,  etc.  He  is  infallible,  as  the 
universal  father,  in  all  matters  of  faith  and  morals  j  in  all 
facts,  natural  or  supernatural,  which  affect  the  faith  or 
moral  government  of  the  Church  ;  in  ail  doctrines,  logical, 
scientific,  physical,  metaphysical,  or  political,  of  any  kind 
whatsoever,  which  imperil  the  integrity  of  the  faith  or  the 
salvation  of  souls  j  he  is  infallible  in  determining  the  relig 
ious  action  which  the  Church  has  to  take  in  this  world, 
and  the  means  she  must  use  in  order  to  fulfil  the  duties 
which  God  has  imposed  upon  her.  Whenever,  then,  the 
Holy  Father,  as  Chief  Pastor  and  Teacher  of  all  Christians, 
proceeds,  in  briefs,  encyclical  letters,  consistorial  allocu 
tions,  and  otker  apostolic  letters,  to  declare  certain  truths, 
or  anything  that  is  conducive  to  the  preservation  of  faith 
and  moVals,  or  to  reprobate  perverse  doctrines,  and  con 
demn  certain  errors,  such  declarations  of  truth  and  con 
demnations  of  errors  are  infallible,  or  ex-cathedra  acts 
of  the  pope,  and  therefore  are  binding  in  conscience,  and 
call  for  our  firm  interior  assent,  both  of  the  intellect  and 
the  will,  even  though  they  do  not  express  an  anathema 
on  those  who  disagree.  To  refuse  such  interior  assent 
would  be,  for  a  Catholic,  a  mortal  sin,  since  such  a 
refusal  would  be  a  virtual  denial  of  the  dogma  of  infalli 
bility,  and  we  should  be  heretics  were  we  conscious  of 
such  a  denial.  (St.  Alphonsus  Liguori,  "  Theol.  Moral.," 
lib.  i,  104.)  It  would  even  be  heresy  to  say  that  a'ny  such 
definition  of  truths  or  condemnations  of  perverse  doctrines 
are  inopportune,  as  is  clear  from  a  brief  of  Pope  Pius  IX, 


dated  Nov.  6,  1876,  and  addressed  to  a  bishop  of  Germany. 
The  London  Tablet,  Dec.  16,  1876,  writes:  "A  very 
important  letter  from  his  Holiness,  addressed,  as  it 
appears  from  internal  evidence,  to  a  bishop  in  Germany, 
though  the  name  of  that  bishop  is  not  forthcoming? 
has  been  given  to  the  world  by  the  newspaper  entitled  La 
Croix.  Though  it  has  been  made  public  not  in  a  very 
regular  manner,  yet,  as  it  has  been  already  reproduced  by 
the  French  Catholic  press,  we  cannot  do  wrong  in  noticing 
it.  The  Holy  Father,  after  intimating  his  approval  of  the 
bishop's  condemnation  of  some  plan,  the  nature  of  which  is 
not  stated,  goes  on  to  deal  with  the  case  of  certain  German 
priests,  who,  ( after  having  long  delayed  manifesting  their 
adhesion  to  the  dogmatic  definition  of  the  Vatican  Council, 
touching  the  infallible  magisterium  of  the  Ro'man  Pontiff, 
have  at  last  made  their  profession  to  this  effect,  but  de 
claring,  at  the  same  time,  either  that  they  had  cmly  made 
up  their  minds  to  do  so  because  they  saw  those  German 
bishops  who  had  defended  the  opposite  opinions  in  the 
council  accept  their  definition,  or  else  they  admitted,  indeed, 
the  do'gma  defined,  but  without  admitting  the  opportifne- 
ness  of  the  definition.7  The  Holy  Father  goes  on  to  say 
that,  as  the  definitions  of  General  Councils  are  infallible,  by 
reason  of  the  fact  that  they  proceed  from  the  inspiration 
of  the  Holy  Spirit  assisting  the  Church,  they  cannot  but 
teach  the  truth  j  and  that  truth  does  not  derive  either  its 
force  or  its  character  from  the  assent  of  men  ;  rather,  as 
it  proceeds  from  God,  it  requires  a  full  and  entire  consent, 
dependent  on  no  condition.  Nor  could  any  heresy  have 
ever  been  proscribed  in  an  efficacious  manner,  if  it  had 
been  permissible  to  the  faithful  to  wait,  before  submitting 
to  the  definition  of  the  truth,  for  the  assent  of  those  who 


opposed  that  definition,  and  were  condemned  by  it.  '  This 
doctrine/  adds  his  Holiness,  i  which  is  the  same  for  the 
definitions  of  (Ecumenical  Councils,  and  for  the  definitions 
of  the  Supreme  Pontiffs,  was  clearly  expressed  by  the 
Vatican  Council  when  it  taught,  at  the  close  of  its  defini 
tions,  that  l  the  definitions  of  the  Roman  Pontiff  are  irre- 
formable  of  themselves,  and  not  in  virtue  of  the  consent  of 
the  Church.7  (Sess.  iv,  c.  iv,  in  fine.)  The  Supreme 
Pontiff  then  passes  judgment  on  the  other  class  of  persons 
just  mentioned.  '  It  is  still  more  absurd/  he  says,  '  to  accept 
the  definition,  and  persist  in  saying  that  it  is  inopportune. 
The  vicissitudes,  indeed,  of  our  times,  the  errors  as 
numerous  as  all  that  have  ever  existed,  the  fresh  errors 
which  are  every  day  invented  for  the  destruction  of  the 
Church,  the  Vicar  of  Christ  deprived  of  his  liberty,  and 
the  bishops  of  the  power,  not  Only  of  assembling,  but  even 
of  teaching, — all  attest  with  what  opportuneness  Divine 
Providence  permitted  that  the  definition  of  the  pontifical 
infallibility  should  be  proclaimed  at  a  time  when  the  right 
rule  of  belief  and  conduct  was  about  to  be  deprived  of  all 
other  support.  But  putting  all  these  considerations  on  one 
side,  if  the  definitions  of  (Ecumenical  Councils  are  infal 
lible,  precisely  because  they  flow  from  the  wisdom  and  coun 
sel  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  nothing,  surely,  can  be  more  absurd 
than  to  think  that  the  Holy  Spirit  teaches,  indeed,  things 
which  are  true,  but  may  still  teach  them  inopportunely.' 
The  bishop  to  whom  the  letter  is  addressed  is,  therefore, 
instructed  to  warn  any  such  priests,  if  there  are  any  in 
his  diocese,  that  it  is  not  permitted  to  them  so  to  limit 
their  assent  as  to  make  it  depend  upon  an  act, — even  a 
praiseworthy  act, — of  this  or  that  bishop,  rather  than 
on  the  authority  of  the  Church;  and  that  they  must 


adopt  the  definition  'by  a  full  and  entire  assent  of 
intelligence  and  will,  unless  they  would  depart  from  the 
true  faith.7  " 

In  the  question  of  the  infallibility  and  authority  of  the 
Apostolic  See,  there  is  one  thing  which  we  should  be  careful 
to  bear  in  mind :  Jesus  Christ  gave  to  his  Church  not 
only  gifts  and  powers,  he  gave  her,  also,  an  infallible 
kno'wledge  of  these  gifts  and  powers.  We  must  believe 
that  she  has  this  knowledge,  and  knows,  with  infallible 
certainty,  what  she  is,  and  what  is  in  her,  and  what  belongs 
to  her.  It  is,  therefore,  not  for  us  to  say  where  the 
authority  of  the  Church  ceases,  and  where  the  authority  of 
human  experiment  begins.  The  Church  alone  can  judge 
how  far  her  authority  goes.  What  things  come  wholly 
within  the  domain  of  science,  and  what  things  belong  to  the 
region  of  faith  and  morals  j  where  the  boundary  line  is  to 
be  drawn,  and  in  what  attitude  we  have  to  place  ourselves 
as  to  certain  subjects, — these  things  are  altogether  beyond 
our  power  or  our  right,  and  are  wholly  within  the  judg 
ment  of  the  Apostolic  See.  It  is  left  to  the  Church  alo'ne 
to  tell  us  what  is  and  what  is  not  necessary  for  the  salvation 
of  our  souls.  If  she  tells  us  that  certain  things  are  part  of 
the  faith  which  she  has  to  teach,  or  necessary  for  this  faith, 
we  are  bound  to  believe  her.  We  have  no  more  questions 
to  ask :  "  No  man,77  say  the  Fathers  of  the  great  Council 
of  Nice,  u  ever  accused  the  Holy  See  of  a  mistake,  unless 
he  was  himself  maintaining  an  error.  The  case  of  St. 
Cyprian  will  occur  to  every  one.  The  enemies  of  the 
Church  have  never  been  able  to  mention  a  single  instance 
of  a  pope  who  departed  one  hair's-breadth  from  the  true 
faith  of  the  Church, — a  fact  which  is  admitted  even  by 
Protestant  writers.  Even  in  the  midst  of  the  most  evil 


days,  the  sanctity  of  the  See  of  Rome  was  never  wholly 
obscured."  (Ecglehardt,  "Ch.  Hist.,"  vol.  i,  p.  312;  Mar- 
heineke.  "Uni.  Ch.  Hist.,"  Erlangen,  1806.)  The  true 
explanation  of  this  fact  must  be  sought  for  in  the  prayer  of 
Christ,  in  which  a  promise  is  given  to  Peter  and  his  suc 
cessors  that  they  shall  enjoy  immunity  from  all  error  in 
matters  of  faith  (Luke  xxii,  32),  and  to  which  pointed 
reference  is  made  by  the  popes,  Leo  the  Great  and  Agatho. 
Pope  Leo  says,  in  his  Sermon  iv,  4  :  "  All  are  confirmed 
in  Peter,  and  the  assistance  of  divine  grace  so  regulated, 
that  the  grace  which  is  conferred  by  Christ  on  Peter  passes 
on  through  Pe'ter  to  the  other  apostles."  Let  us  be  humble, 
and  say,  with  King  Oswy  :  "  I  say,  like  you  (St. Wilfred), 
that  P0ter  is  the  porter  of  heaven,  and  that  I  will  not 
oppose  him,  but  will,  on  the  contrary,  obey  him  in  all 
things,  lest,  when  I  come  to  the  doors  of  the  heavenly 
kingdom,  there  be  none  to  open  them  to  me,  if  I  am  at 
variance  with  him  who  carries  the  keys.  In  all  my  life  I 
will  neither  do  nor  approve  any  thing  or  any  person  that 
may  be  opposed  to  him."  (Alzog's  "  Uni.  Ch.  Hist.,"  vol. 
ii,  p.  93.) 

9.  Are,  then,  the  definitions  of  the  Pope  new  articles  of 

No  ;  the  Holy  Father  can  make  no  new  articles  of  faith  ; 
he  merely  defines  (that  is,  finally  determines)  what  is  offaitji, 
according  to  Holy  Scripture  and  t  tradition :  "The  Holy 
Spirit"  say  the  Fathers  of  the  Vatican  Council,  u  was  not 
promised  to  the  successors  of  Peter,  that  ~by  his  revelation 
they  might  make  known  new  doctrines,  but  that  by  his  assist 
ance  tficy  might  inviolably  keep,  and  faithfully  expound,  the 
revelation  or  deposit  of  faith  delivered  ihrougji  the  apostles." 
Hence,  when  the  pope  defines  any  point  of  doctrine  pertain 
ing  to  Catholic  faith,  it  is  as  much  as  to  declare  that  the 


doctrine  in  question  was  revealed  to  the  apostles,  and  has 
come  down  to  us  from  the  apostles. 

lt  The  pope  can  change  nothing  that  Christ  has  estab 
lished,  as  of  faith,  or  of  morals.  The  pope  could  not  permit 
Henry  VIII  to  put  away  his  lawful  wife  and  to  marry 
another.  The  Protestant  Episcopal  Church  had .  to  be 
invented  to  perform  that  task.  The  pope  cannot  author 
ize  me  to  steal  what  does  not  belong  to  me,  or,  to  hate  my 
neighbor  and  wish  him  eVil.  The  infallibility  of  the 
pope  is  not  omnipotence.  It  does  not  give  him  the  liberty 
to  do  whatever  he  pleases.  On  the  contrary,  the  pope  is, 
almost  every  day,  declaring  that  he  cannot  do  this  or  the 
other  thing  that  his  persecuting  tormentors  ask  him  to  do. 
His  infallibility,  then,  consists  in  this :  that,  while  the 
faith  that  is  in  him  is  also  in  the  other  bishops  and  in 
the  faithful,  in  these  it  does  not  so  exist  that  in  one  or 
other  of  them,  or  even  in  many  of  them,  it  may  not  fail. 
But  the  privilege  granted  to  the  successor  of  St.  Petei 
is  that  his  faith  can  never  fail.  His  privilege  of 
infallibility  is  not  to  change  one  iota  of  the  faith,  but  to 
keep  it  pure  and  undefiled.  The  nonsense  about  the  pope, 
in  virtue  of  his  infallibility  when  teaching  the  Church, 
coming  to  meddle  in  the  political  party  quarrels  of  coun 
tries,  where  no  question  of  faith  or  morals  is  involved,  is 
too  drivellingly  insensate  to  be  contradicted.  The  faith 
and  doctrine  of  the  Catholic  Church  is  open,  and  may  be 
read  by  all  men  5  by  laymen  as  by  the  hierarchy,  by  non- 
Catholics  as  by  Catholics.  This  faith  and  doctrine  the 
Pope  of  Rome,  by  the  singular  gift  to  Peter  by  our  Lord, 
is  infallible  in  kteping  and  declaring."  (From  the  N.  Y. 
Freeman's  Journal.) 


10.  Is  man,  then,  infallible  ? 

No  man  is  infallible  of  himself ;  but  the  pope  is  infallible, 
by  the  assistance  of  the  Holy  Grhost,  when  he  teaches  any 
thing  as  Chief  Pastor  and  Doctor  of  the  Church. 

The  pope,  it  is  true,  is  man  ;  but,  from  the  beginning 
of  the  world,  God  has  spoken  through  men.  He  spoke 
though  the  patriarchs  and  the  prophets.  But  the  pope  is 
a  greater  patriarch  than  Abraham,  he  is  greater  than  Mel- 
chisedech  in  priesthood,  greater  than  Moses  in  authority, 
greater  than  Samuel  in  jurisdiction  j  he  is  Peter  in 
power,  Christ  by  unction,  pa'stor  of  pastors,  guide  of 
guides  j  through  him  the  Holy  Ghost  speaks  and  teaches 
the  whole  flock  of  Christ.  This  is  the  doctrine  of  the 
apostles,  say  the  Fathers  of  the  Vatican  Council :  "  And 
indeed  all  the  venerable  Fathers  have  embraced,  and  the 
holy  orthodox  doctors  have  venerated  and  followed,  their 
apostolic  doctrine,  knowing  most  fully  that  this  See  of 
holy  Peter  remains  ever  free  from  all  blemish  of  error, 
according  to  the  divine  promise  of  the  Lord  our  Saviour, 
made  to  the  Prince  of  his  Disciples  :  i  I  have  prayed  for 
thee  that  thy  faith  fail  not  5  and  when  thou  art  converted, 
confirm  thy  brethren.7 

"  This  gift,  then,  of  truth  and  never-failing  faith  was 
conferred  by  heaven  upon  Peter  and  his  successors  in  this 
Chair,  that  they  might  perform  their  high  office  for  the 
salvation  of  all ;  that  the  whole  flock  of  Christ,  kept  away 
by  them  from  the  poisonous  food  of  error,  might  be  nour 
ished  with  the  pasture  of  heavenly  doctrine  ;  that,  the 
occasion  of  schism  being  removed,  the  whole  Church 
might  be  kept  one,  and,  resting  on  its  foundation,  might 
stand  firm  against  the  gates  of  hell."  (Cap.  iv.)  It  is, 
then,  the  Holy  Ghost  who  speaks  through  the  pope  J 


through  him  he  preserves  the  purity  of  Christ's  doctrine; 
and  teaches  it  free  from  every  blemish  of  error. 

11.  How  does  the  Holy  Ghost  preserve  the  unity  of  faith 
in  the  Church  ? 

By  granting  toiler  members  the  gift  of  faith,  which  en 
ables  them  to  believe  all  that  the  Church  teaches. 

,As  Christ,  by  his  prayer,  obtained  the  gift  of  infalli 
bility  for  Peter  and  his  successors,  in  like  manner  he 
obtained,  by  his  prayer,  the  gift  of  faith  for  the  rest  of  his 
flock :  "  Holy  Father,"  he  prayed  on  the  eve  of  his  p^s- 
sion,  "  keep  them  in  thy  name  whom  thou  hast  given  me, 
that  they  may  be  one,  as  we  are  also.  And  not  for  them 
only  do  I  pray,  but  for  them  also  who,  through  their  word, 
shall  believe  in  me,  that  they  all  may  be  one,  as  thou, 
Father,  in  me,  and  I  in  thee  ;  that  they  may  be  one  in  us, 
that  the  world  may  believe  that  thou  hast  sent  me."  (John 
xvii.)  According  to  the  interpreters  of  holy  Scripture, 
Jesus  Christ  asks  of  his  heavenly  Father  that  all  his  fol 
lowers  might  participate  in  the  one  and  in  the  same  Holy 
Ghost,  so  that  in  him,  and  through  him,  they  might  all  be 
united  to  the  other  divine  persons.  Now,  all  the  prayers  of 
Christ  were  heard  by  his  Father,  as  he  himself  tells  us, 
when  he  prayed  to  his  Father  to  raise  Lazarus  from  the 
dead  :  lt  Father,  I  give  thanks  tha£  thou  hast  heard  me, 
and  I  know  that  thou  hearest  me  always."  (John  xi,  41.) 
As  Peter  and  his  successors  then  obtained,  by  Christ's 
prayer,  the  gift  of  teaching  infallibly,  so,  also,  the  flock  of 
Peter  obtained,  by  Christ's  prayer,  the  gift  of  believing 
most  firmly  all  that  Peter  in  person,  or  through  his  suc 
cessors,  would  teach  them.,  Various,  gifts  of  the  same 
Holy  Spirit  are  given  to  different  persons,  says  St.  Paul, 
that  each  may  discharge  14s  own  duty:  u  For  in  one 



spirit  we  were  all  baptized  into  one  body  .  .  .  and  in 
one  spirit  we  all  have  been  made  to  drink."  (1  Cor.  xii, 
13.)  As  the  Vicars  of  Christ  are  infallible  in  teaching,  so 
the  Church  is  infallible  in  believing. 

The  head  of  the  Catholic  Church, — the  body  of  Christ, — 
being  infallible,  the  whole  body  shares  the  inerrancy  of 
the  head.  Peter  and  his  sucessors  were  made  infallible 
in  all  that  relates  to  faith  and  morals,  not  for  their  own 
sake  simply,  but  for  the  sake  of  their  flock,  that  truth 
might  never  be  subject  to  correction,  and  that  all  the 
pastors  and  the  faithful  might  be  eternally  secured  from 
error.  Adhering  to  the  infallible  judgment  of  Peter,  they 
cannot  be  deceived.  Such  is  the  God-given  privilege 

of  the  whole  Catholic  Church.     We  have  a  right  to  be 
/  '/•'••/  / 

peremptory  in  condemning  every  kind  of  heresy,  and  we 

condemn  it  with  an  infallible  judgment,  for  we  do  not 
speak  in  our  own  name,  like  heretics  ;  no,  we  speak  in  the 
name  of  him  to  whom  it  has  been  given,  as  the,  Vatican 
Council  says,  u  to  be  possessed  of  that  infallibility  with 
which  the  divine  Redeemer  willed  that  his  Church  should 
be  endowed  for  defining  doctrine  regarding  faith  and 
morals."  It  is  the  perpetuity  of  this  undying  authority  of 
Peter  which  distinguishes  the  Church  of  Christ  from 
human  sects.  It  alone  supplies  both  the  safeguard  of 
Christian  truth,  and  the  ^est  of  Christian  obedience  to 
truth.  Without  this  infallible  authority,  all  is  disorder, 
and  the  whole  plan  of  redemption  a  mockery  ;  there  is 
neither  Church  nor  Christianity,  but  only  sects  and  opin 
ions.  Outside  the  Church  neither  unity  nor  obedience 
is  possible,  because  nothing  exists  which  can  maintain 
the  one,  or  enforce  the  other.  To  be  separated  from  the 
divine  authority  of  the  pope,  is  to  be  separated  from  God, 


and  to  have  no  place  in  the  kingdom  of  Christ :  "  Where 
Peter  is,  there  also  is  the  Church  of  Christ ;  "  that  is,  all 
those  who  believe  and  teach  as  the  pope  does,  form  the 
true  Church  of  Christ. 

12.  What,  then,  is  the  faith  of  the  Roman  Catholic  ? 

The  faith  of  the  Roman  /  Catholic  is  a  gift  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  enabling  him  to  believe  firmly  all  that  God  teaches 
through  his  Church. 

Our  belief  in  a  person's  word  is  firm,  in  proportion  as  we 
think  that  he  is  not  deceived  in  his  knowledge ;  that  he 
knows  well  what  he  says,  because  he  is  wise  and  prudent ; 
that  he  will  not  deceive  us,  because  he  loves  the  truth,  and 
fears  God.  Thus,  in  transacting  business,  we  give  more 
credit  to  a  learned  or  able,  than  to  an  ignorant,  man  ;  to  a 
learned  man  who  is  virtuous,  than  to  one  who  is  not  so. 

Now,  God  is  the  first  and  essential  truth.  His  know 
ledge  extends  to  all  things,  and  is  infinitely  perfect  j  he  is 
essentially  true  in  his  words.  He  knows  things  olily  as 
they  are,  and  can  speak  them  only  as  he  knows  them. 
Therefore,  when  God  speaks,  whether  it  be  in  his  own 
divine  person,  or  through  the  apostles  and  their  lawful 
successors  in  the  Catholic  Church,  we  must  listen  and  obe'y? 
simply  because  it  is  the  voice  of  God,  who  can  neither 
deceive  nor  be  deceived.  We  must  have  the  most  respect 
ful,  submissive  faith  in  all  that  he  has  revealed  to  us 
through  his  Church,  and  believe  her  doctrine  with  the 
utmost  firmness  and  simplicity,  with  an  unwavering  con 
viction  of  their  reality. 

/  /  .  / 

We  must  believe  all  the  articles  of  faith  more  firmly 

than  we  believe  the  proposition  that  the  whole  is  greater  than 
its  part.  We  should  believe  them  more  firmly  than  what 
we  see  with  our  eyes,  hear  with  our  ears,  touch  with  our 


hands.  We  should  be  more  certain  of  these  articles  of 
faith  than  we  are  of  our  own  existence,  which  is  a  reality 
of  which  we  cannot  doubt  j  yet  the  things  of  faith  are 
still  more  real,  having  been  taught  by  God,  who  cannot 
deceive  us.  Our  knowledge  of  natural  things  comes 
through  the  senses,  which  often  deceive  us.  Hence  there 
is  nothing  true  in  the  universe  of  which  we  ought  to  be 
so  certain  as  of  the  mysteries  of  religion.  "  Faith," 
says  St.  Basil,  "  always  powerful  and  victorious,  ex 
ercises  a  greater  ascendency  over f  minds  than  all  the 
proofs  which  reason  and  human  science  can  furnish,  be 
cause  faith  obviates  all  difficulties,  not  by  the  light  of 
manifest  evidence,  but  by  the  weight  of  the  infallible 
authority  of  God,  which  renders  them  incapable  of  admit 
ting  any  doubt."  It  was  thus  that  Abraham  believed 
when,  notwithstanding  all  the  impediments  of  nature, 
he  felt  sure  that  he  should  see  himself  the  father  of 
a  son,  and,  through  him,  of  many  nations.  ''He  be 
lieved  in  hope  against  hope,"  says  St.  Paul,  ii  that 
he  might  be  made  the  father  of  many  nations,  accord 
ing  to  what  was  said  to  him :  i  So  shall  thy  seed  be.'  r' 
And  he  was  not  weak  in  faith,  for  he  considered  neither 
his  old  age,  nor  that  of  his  wife  Sarah.  He  distrusted 
not  the  premise  of  God,  but  was  strong  in  faith,  giving 
glory  to  God,  being  most  fully  convinced  that  whatsoever 
God  has  promised  he  is  able  to  perform. 

The  faith  of  Moses  was  so  great,  that  St.  Paul  says  of 
him  that  "  he  acted  with  the  invisible  God  as  though  he 
were  visible." 

Similar  was  the  faith  of  the  famous  and  valiant  Count 
de  Montfort,  who,  being  told  that  our  Lord,  in  the  Host, 
had  appeared  visibly  iu  the  hands  of  the  priest,  said  to 



those  who  urged  him  to  go  and  see  the  miracle:   "Let 

those  go  and  see  it  who  doubt  it  j  as  for  myself,  I  believe 
firmly  the  truth  of  the  mystery  of  the  Eucharist,  as  our 
mother,  the  holy  Church,  teaches  it.  Hence,  I  hope  to 
receive  in  heaven  a  crown  more  brilliant  than  those  of 
the  angels ;  for  they,  being  face  to  face  with  God,  have 
not  the  power  to  doubt." 

The  noble  Count  St.  Eliazer  used  to  say  that,  with  re 
gard  to  matters  of  faith,  he  believed  them  so  firmly  that, 
if  all  the  theologians  in  the  world  strove  to  persuade  him 
to  the  contrary,  their  logic  would  not  have  the  slightest 
effect  on  him. 

And,  in  truth,  faith  ought  to  take  precedence  of  reason, 
demonstration,  experience,  and  all  other  motives  of  certi 
tude,  with  the  true  Christian  and  new  man  regenerated  in 
Jesus  Christ:  "Consider,"  says  St.  Augustine,  "  that  you: 
are  not  called  reasonable,  but  faithful,  since,  when  a'ny  one 
is  baptized,  we  say,  He  has  become  one  of  the  faithful." 

We  must  have  this  firm  faith  not  only  in  some,  but  ifc 
all  the  truths  which  God  has  made  known,  although  they 
may  be  altogether  incomprehensible  to  us.  Faith  will  not 
allow  of  the  rejection  of  even  one ;  and  he  who  should 
voluntarily  entertain  a  doubt  of  one  single  article,  one  single 
point  of  faith,  could  not  be  said  to  have  faith  at  all.  We 
believe  everything  that  God  has  revealed,  precisely  for 
this  reason,  that  God  lias  said  it. 

The  word  of  God,  who  is  infallible  truth  itself,  and  who 
cannot  deceive  nor  be  deceived,  is  the  why  and  wherefore 
of  our  belief.  To  say  or  to  think,  I  believe  this  article, 
this  truth  of  faith,  but  I  do  not  believe  that,  is  as  much  as 
to  say  or  to  think,  I  believe  that  God  tells  the  truth  in 
this  point,  but  he  tells  it  not  in  that ;  it  is  as  much  as  to 


say,  God  is  capable  of  telling  a  lie.  This  is  blasphemy  j 
it  is  even  the  denial  of  God's  existence. 

And  also  to  say  or  to  think,  I  cannot  believe  such  an 
article,  or  such  a  mystery  of  faith,  because  it  is  too  obscure, 
too  incomprehensible,  and  contrary  to  reason,  is  to  exhibit 
a  lamentable  lack  of  reason.  To  be  a  man,  it  is  neces 
sary  to  have  reason.  Reason  is  the  light^  of  man.  But 
reason  tells  us  that  it  is  necessary  to  submit  to  faith,  and 
that  there  is  no  sense  in  him  who  wishes  to  subject  to  his 
reason  the  Author  of  his  reason  ;  and  that  to  wish  to  under 
stand  what  is  above  his  intelligence,  is  to  be  without 

Reason  tells  us  that  our  religion  would  not  be  divine  if 
it  were  not  above  reason.  For  God  would  not  be  God, 
if  he  were  not  incomprehensible ;  and  my  soul  could  not 
adore  him,  if  my  mind  could  comprehend  him.  It  is  one 
thing  to  say  that  such  a  mystery  is  contrary  to  reason, 
and  another  to  prove  it.  In  order  to  prove  that  a  doctrine 
is  contrary  to  reason,  we  must  have  a  clear,  precise  idea 
of  what  that  doctrine  is.  We  can  say,  for  instance,  that 
it  is  contrary  to  reason  to  assert  that  a  square  is  a  circle, 
for  we  have  a  clear,  precise  idea  of  what  a  square  is,  and 
what  is  a  circle.  But  we  cannot  say  with  certainty  that 
a  doctrine  or  a  mystery  of  our  holy  faith  is  contrary  to 
reason,  for  we  can  never  have  a  full,  clear,  precise  idea 
of  that  doctrine  or  mystery.  We  cannot  have  this  clear 
idea,  simply  because  those  doctrines  are  far  above  reason. 
We  cannot  say,  for  instance,  that  the  doctrine  of  the 
Holy  Trinity,  the  doctrine  of  the  three  divine  persons 
in  one  divine  substance,  is  contrary  to  reason,  because 
we  can  never  have  a  clear,  precise  idea  either  of  God's 
essence,  or  of  the  nature  of  the  three  divine  persons. 


And  what  is  true  of  the  Trinity  is  true  also  of  all  the 
other  doctrines  and  mysteries  of  our  holy  faith.  They  are 
not  against  reason,  but  they  are  above  reason.  Reason 
is  aboVe  the  senses,  and  faith  is  abcfve  reason. 

"  Certainly,"  says  St.  John  Chrysostorn,  "since  the 
works  of  God  incomparably  surpass  the  capacity  of  our 
minds,  the  thoughts  whereby  we  seek  to  penetrate  the 
abysses  of  faith  are  always  accompanied  with  folly,  and 
resemble  labyrinths  which  it  is  very  easy  to  enter,  but  from 
which  it  is  almost  impossible  to  come  forth.  These  thoughts 
spring  from  pride  ^  and  as  proud  minds  are  ashamed  to 
believe  or  to  admit  that  which  they  ca'nnot  understand, 
they  entangle  themselves  in  difficulties  from  which  they 
cannot  easily  issue.  Is  it  true,  then,  proud  man,  that  you 
can  understand  how  the  sun  and  stars  were  created  j  how 
the  earth,  with  all  its  riches,  was  called  forth  from  chaxos ; 
how  the  magnet  attracts  iron ;  how  a  single  grain  of  corn 
sown  in  the  earth  produces  a  thousand  other  grains  ?  You 
are  not  ashamed  to  own  that  you  cannot  answer  these 
things ;  and  when  there  is  question  of  things  of  a  more 
sublime  nature,  of  things  that  are  above  the  comprehension 
of  angels,  you  will  not  avow  your  ignorance — you  make 
bold  efforts  to  understand  them.  Fool!  the  shame  is  not 
the  inability  to  comprehend  them,  but  the  daring  to  sound 

Speaking  of  Rahab,  who  received  the  spies,  and  of 
whom  St.  Paul  says  that  fyer  faith  saved  her  from  the 
unhappy  fate  of  her  fellow-citizens,  St.  Chrysostom  praises 
the  simplicity  of  her  faith,  and  adds:  "This  woman  did 
riot  examine  what  the  spies  said,  neither  did  she  reason 
with  herself  thus  :  How  can  it  be  possible  that  the  captives 
and  fugitives  now  wandering  in  the  desert  will  capture  a 



city  so  strong  and  so  well  provided  as  ours  ?  Had  she 
argued  thus,  she  had  been  lost." 

/  /  / 

Those  of  the  Israelites,  on  the  contrary,  who,  hearing 
of  the  prodigious  strength  and  power  of  the  countries  they 
were  to  conquer,  -yielded  to  diffidence,  notwithstanding  the 
divine  assurance  that  they  should  vanquish  their  enemies, 
even  without  fighting  them,  were  deprived,  by  their  infi 
delity,  of  the  happiness  which  God  had  promised  to  their 

What  could  be  more  strange  or  more  opposed  to  reason 
than  to  command  a  father  to  sacrifice  his  only  and  most 

/  /  /  l 

innocent  son  ?  Arid  yet  Abraham  put  himself  in  readi 
ness  to  offer  sacrifice  without  discussing  the  commandment, 
or  adducing  arguments  to  prove  its  unreasonableness.  He 
considered  only  the  divinity  and  wisdom  of  tlim  who 

Another  person,  who  wished  to  show  himself  more  reason 
able,  refused  to  strike  a  prophet,  as  he  had  been  ordered 
to  do.  Such  a  thing  he  thought  was  improper.  But 
his  disobedience  was  soon  punished,  for  a  lion  rushed  upon 
him  and  devoured  him,  not  far  from  the  place  where  the 
fault  had  been  committed. 

Saul  having  been  ordered  by  God  to  put  the  Amale- 
kites  to  death,  with  their  flocks  and  herds,  found  it  reason 
able  to  spare  the  king,  and  to  set  aside  the  best  and 
fattest  of  the  flocks  for  sacrifice.  Asa  recompense  for  his 
fine  reasoning  on  the  subject,  he  was  overwhelmed  with 
many  evils,  and  finally  lost  his  kingdom. 

The  infant  at  the  mother's  breast  takes  what  it  sees  not ; 
sometimes  it  will  even  close  its  eyes  when  it  might  see 
what  it  takes,  as  though  it  confided  entirely  in  its  mother, 
and  in  the  love  she  bears  it  j  in  like  manner  the  soul 


draws  the  milk  of  faith  from  the  bosom  of  the  Church, 
which  she  sees  not.  She  reposes  on  the  infinite  wisdom 
and  goodness  of  Jesus  Christ,  who  can  teach  her  nothing 
but  what  is  true,  and  give  her  nothing  that  is  not  good. 
It  is  on  this  juice  of  divine  faith  that  the  just  man  lives, 
as  St.  Paul  tells  us  ;  he  avoids  not  only  o'pen  heresy,  he 
also  diligently  shuns,  and  his  heart  dissents  from,  those 
opinions  which  approach  it  more  or  less  closely  ;  and  he 
religiously  observes  those  constitutions  and  decrees  where 
by  such  evil,  opinions,  either  directly  or  indirectly,  have 
been  proscribed  and  prohibited  by  the  Holy  See.  For,  to 
be  a  good  Catholic,  "it  is  not  sufficient,"  says  the  Vatican 
Council,  u  to  shun  heretical  pravity,  unless  those  errors  also 
be  diligently  avoided,  which  more  or  less  nearly  approach 
it.  We,  therefore,  admonish  all  men  of  the  further  duty 
of  observing  those  constitutions  and  decrees  by  which 
such  erroneous  opinions  as  are  not  here  specifically  enu 
merated,  have  been  proscribed  and  condemned  by  this 
Holy  See."  (Can.  iv.) 

Tfce  faith  of  St.  Teresa  was  so  firm,  that  it  seemed  to 
her  she  t  could  convert  all  heretics  from  their  errors  j 
and  so  simple,  that  she  said,  the  less  she  comprehended  a 
mystery,  the  more  firmly  she  believed  it,  arid  the  more 
devotion  it  excited  in  her :  she  tasted  a  singular  pleasure 
in  not  being  able  to  comprehend  it.  She  silenced  all  objec 
tions  to  a  mystery,  by  saying :  il  The  Son  of  God,  Jesus 
Christ,  has  revealed  it  to  us,  and  we  have  no  more  queV 
tions  to  ask." 

Indeed,  the  fact  that  Jesus  Christ  has  said  or  done  this  or 
'  i 

that  thing,  or  has  taught  it  to  his  Church,  and  commanded 
her  to  teach  it  to  all  nations,  must  be  for  us  the  weightiest 
of  all  reasons  to  believe  it.  The  famous  word  of  the 


Pythagoreans,  u  The  master  has  said  it/'  was  with  them  a 
foolish  idolatry,  believing,  as  they  did,  that  no  one  could 
be  deceived.  Applied,  however,  to  Jesus  Christ,  it  must 
be  a  first  principle,  a  sacred  axiom,  for  eVery  Christian. 
The  heavens  and  the  earth  shall  pass  awa'y,  but  "  the 
truths  of  the  Lord  remain  forever."  (Ps.  cxvi,  2.)  He 
has  said :  "  What  is  great  before  men  is  an  abomination 
before  God."  He  has  said  :  "  Sooner  will  a  camel  pass 
through  the  eye  of  a  needle  than  the  rich  e'nter  the  king 
dom  of  heaven."  He  has  said :  "  Woe  to  you  who  now 
rejoice,  for  you  shall  weep ;  "  "  Blessed  are  those  who 
weep."  He  has  said :  "  He  who  renounces  not  all,  and 
himself  also,  cannot  be  my  disciple."  He  has  said  it. 
Re'ason,  perhaps,  might  suggest  that  these  oracles  must 
be  explained,  softened,  modified ;  that  it  cannot  compre 
hend  how  we  can  find  peace  in  war,  glory  in  contempt, 
delight  in  crosses.  But  the  good  Christian  listens  only 
to  his  Master :  u  Christ  has  said  it."  He  would  not  have 
said  it,  were  it  not  true.  The  good  Christian  believes  most 
firmly  the  doctrine  of  the  Catholic  Church,  which  the 
apostles  have  proclaimed,  which  so  many  saints  and  wise 
men  have  preached,  which  the  blood  of  the  maVtyrs  has 
cemented,  which  miracles  have  proved,  which  reason 
confirms,  which  the  elements  and  insensible  creatures  have 
announced,  which  the  demons  themselves  are  constrained 
to  acknowledge ;  yes,  the  good  Christian  receives  the 
doctrine  of  the  Catholic  Church,  glorious  with  so  many 
victories,  racliant  with  so  many  crowns,  laden  with  the 
spoils  of  all  its  enemies.  If,  in  imitation  of  the  martyrs, 
the  good  Christian  has  not  the  happiness  to  die  for  this 
doctrine,  he  endeavors  at  least  to  live  up  to  all  its  precepts. 




f       f     / 

The  Catholic  Church  is  a  living  society,  established  by 

God.  It  will  always  remain  as  God  made  it.  What  he 
constituted  the  head  of  the  Church,  will  continue  to  be 
the  head.  What  he  constituted  the  teaching  authority, 
will  continue  to  be  the  teaching  authority.  What  he  con 
stituted  the  subordinate  members,  or  the  hearing  Church, 
will  always  so  continue  5  and  the  faith  which  God  com 
missioned  his  Church  to  teach  to  all  nations,  will  always 
continue  the  same  faith,  for  the  Catholic  faith  or  religion 
is  the  word  of  God,  and  the  word  of  God  is  unchangeable. 
Hence,  if  any  one  asks  : 

1,  Has  the  word  of  God  been  preserved  pure  aiid  uu- 
corrupted  ? 

We  answer  :  Most  assuredly  ;  for  it  is  impossible  that 
the  ivord  of  God  can  be  corrupted  in  the  infallible  Church. 

If  we  consider  the  ancient  Jewish  people,  it  is  impos 
sible  not  to  be  struck  by  the  wonderful  fact  of  a  whole 
people  surpassing  all  o'ther  nations  in  antiquity,  and  living 
throughout  in  the  very  midst  of  universal  idolatry  and 
degradation,  bearing  intact  the  deposit  of  the  natural,  or 
the  primitive  religion^  that  is,  of  the  belief  in,  and  worship 
of,  one  only  God,  spiritual,  holy,  all-powerful,  Father  and 
Judge  of  all  men ;  such,  in  fact,  as  the  wnole  Christian 
world  worships  now. 


It  was  not  long  before  all  the  nations,  illumined  origin 
ally  by  the  light  of  primitive  religion,  saw  that  light 
expire.  They  lost  themselves  in  the  paths  of  super- 
stiuon  and  idolatry.  They  wandered  farther  and  farther 
away  from  the  truth,  and  nothing  could  draw  them  back  to 
the  right  way.  Thus  the  human  mind  generally  lost 
sight  of  the  truth  wliich  the  Jews  alone  preserved.  Is 
not  this  a  real  prodigy  in  the  moral  o'rder  ?  How  did  the 
J-ews  alo'ne  escape  the  universal  shipwreck  of  reason  ? 
How  came  it  that  they  alone  held  fast  to  the  primitive 
truth,  and  resisted  the  tendency  of  the  human  mind 
toward  error, — they  wlio  were  more  ancient  than  all  other 
nations,  and  consequently  might,  as  they  advanced  in  age, 
have  become  corrupted  much  sooner  than  the  others  I 
They  were  naturally  not  less  gross,  not  less  carnal,  not  less 
affected  by  that  moral  wound  which  inwardly  weakens  all 
mdrtal  men.  How  are  we  to  explain  this  grand  fact  ? 
The  preservation  of  religious  truth  among  this  people  can 
be  explained  only  by  attributing  it  to  the  same  means  by 
which  truth  was  first  made  known  to  man  :  the  intervention 
of  God. 

The  same  God  who  incessantly  watched  over  his  sacred 
word  before  the  coming  of  Christ,  has  also  watched  with 
the  same  care  over  the  purity  of  his  word  after  Christ's 
coming.  Hence  our  Lord  says  in  the  Gospel:  tl1t  is 
easier  for  heaven  and  earth  to  pass,  than  one  tittle  of 
the  law  to  fall.'7  (Luke  xvi,  17.)  The  J/wish  Church  was 
commanded  by  God  to  try,  and,  after  sentence,  to  stone 
any  one,  whoever  he  might  ba,  who  counselled  them  to 
depaVt  from  the  true  God  :  so  solicitous  did  God  require 
that  Church  to  be  in  sa-ving  the  people  from  error. 
Christ  requires  his  Church  to  be  just  as  solicitous  in 


saving  the  people  from  error.  Hence  she  has  never  failed 
to  cast  her  stones  of  condemnation,  reprobation,  and 
excommunication,  at  those  who^  left  the  truth,  taught 
perverse  doctrine,  and  led  their  fellow-men  into  error  and 
perdition.  Witness  every  General  Council,  witness  every 
Brief,  Apostolical  Letter,  Consistorial  Allocution  of  the  pope, 
condemning  and  reprobating  heresies  and  errors  of  the 
age 5  witness  the  condemnation  or  the  prohibition  of  so  m^ny 
heretical,  licentious,  and  immoral  books.  In  the  days  of 
the  primitive  Church  there  was,  in  the  market-place,  a 
great  burning  of  books  which  had  been  condemned  by  the 
apostles.  In  the  succeeding  centuries,  the  works  of  heretics 
were  condemned  as  soon  as  they  appeared.  This  practice 
of  condemning  false  and  immoral  books  has  been  continued 
to  this  day.  De  Lamennais  and  Gioberti,  Rosmini  and 
Ventura, — of  whom  the  two  last  have  been  imitators  of  the 
humble  Fenelon,  the  two  first  of  the  arrogant  Tertullian, — 
are  examples,  in  our  own  day,  of  the  ceaseless  vigilance  of 
the  successors  of  St.  Peter  in  rebuking  and  destroying 
eri^or.  The  two  first  resisted  the  voice  of  Peter,  and 
withered  away  like  a  tree  blasted  by  lightning ;  the  two 
last  obeyed  his  paternal  remonstrance,  and,  by  their 
humility,  acquired  fresh  titles  to  the  love  and  respdct  of 
Christians,  to  whom  they  have  left  so  excellent  an  exa'm- 
ple.  Such  is  the  sleepless  fidelity  of  God's  Vicar,  and 
such  are  the  fruits  of  his  divine  mission,  to  preserve  the 
children  intrusted  to  him  in  the  purity  and  simplicity  of 
our  most  holy  faith.  Before  his  presence  error  cannot 

f  7  / 

hide  her  face,  and  the  spirits  of  darkness,   despairing  of 
success,  return  to  the  abyss  from  which  they  came. 


2.  How  does  the  Church  preserve  the  word  of  God  ? 

The  Clyurch  preserves  the  word  fof  God,  partly  in  the 
Holy  Scriptures,  and  partly  in  tradition. 

The  Catholic  Church  possesses  a  large  volume  of  sacred 
writings,  called  the  Holy  Scriptures,  or  Holy  Writ,  or  the 
Bible,  or  the  written  word  of  God.     The  Church  regards 
the  Bible :  1,  as  an  authentic  book,  because  its  various  parts 
are  written  by  those  authors  to,  whom  they  are  attributed; 
2,  as  a  genuine  book,  because  every  part  of  it  has  come 
down  to  us  as  the  author  wrote   it,  without  any  essential 
change  ;  3,  as  an  inspired  book,  because  either  God  himself 
rev/aled  the  things  contained  in  each  part,  and  which  the 
author  could  not  have  known  unless  by  God's  revelation  ; 
or  because  God  directed  the  author  in  the  selection  of 
things   already  known  to  him.  and  preserved  him   from 
error  whilst  writing  them.     Hence,  St.  Paul  recommends 
this  "  Scripture  inspired  by  God"  to  Timothy  (2  Tim.  iii, 
1 6),  arid  St.  Peter  calls  its  writers  "  holy  men  of  God,"  who 
"spoke,    inspired    by  the  Holy   Ghost."  (2  ^et.   i,    21.) 
The  Fathers  of  the  Church  call  the  Bible  a  holy  and  divine 
book,  and  frequently  tell  us  that  God  himself  is  its  author. 

The  pure  preservation  of  the  sacred  writings  is  alto 
gether  owing  to  the  parental  solicitude  of  the  Catholic 
Church.  The  Church  existed  as  a  well-organized  society, 
having  full  divine  authority,  before  there  was  ever  any 
question  of  the  Scriptures.  This  is  an  undeniable  fact. 

In  the  ancient  law,  we  see  the  Jewish  Church  established 
and  governed  j  MOses  invested  with  authority  ;  the  people 
going  to  him  to  seek  the  judgment  or  sentence  of  God; 
Aaron  clothed  with  the  priesthood  j  Joshua  placed  at  the 
head  of  their  armies ;  the  synagogue  directed  by  Chiefs, — 
and  as  yet  the  Scriptures  had  no  existence.  The  first  tables 


of  the  law,  graven  by  the  hand  of  the  Lord,  had  been  broken 
by  Moses  5  the  second  were  not  brought  down  from  Mount 
Sinai,  and  given  to  the  people,  until  some  months  after 
ward.  It  was  v6ry  much  later,  according  as  eve'nts  suc 
ceeded  one  another,  that  Moses  wrote  the  Pentateuch. 
As  for  the  other  books  written  by  the  judges,  by  Da'vid, 
Solomon,  and  the  prophets, — they  did  not  exist  till  many 
centuries  after  the  institution  and  complete  development 
of  the  ancient  Church  5  and  it  was  only  a  few  years  before 
the  coming  of  our  Saviour  that  the  list  of  the  canonical 
books  of  the  first  part  of  the  Bible,  or  the  Old  Testament, 
was  closed  by  the  Second  Book  of  the  Machabees. 

Then  our  divine  Saviour  comes.  He  preaches,  he  com 
mands  his  disciples  to  preach  throughout  the  whole  world, 
but  he  does  not  write  anything,  nor  does  he  command  any 
one  else  to  write.  He  imparts  his  own  authority  to  St. 
Peter  and  to  the  otjier  apostles.  After  his  ascension  he 
sends  down  his  Spirit  upon  them,  and  from  that  moment 
the  Catholic  Church  is  established.  She  assembles  in 
council,  to  appoint  a  successor  to  Judas,  or  to  declare 
the  Jewish  ceremonies  abolished  j  she  pronounces  on  the 
questions  concerning  the  Gentiles  5  she  preaches,  she  bap- 
tizes7  she  converts  the  world  5  she  speaks  in  all  things  with 
the  voice  and  authority  of  God, — and  as  yet  the  New 
Testament  is  not  written.  Of  all  the  apostles  and  disciples 
there  are  but  seven  who  have  wri'tten ;  and  they  have 
written  only  fragments  of  history  and  some  letters. 

First  came  St.  Matthew,  who  began  to  write  his 
pel,  at  the  earliest,  six  years  after  the  ascension  of  Christ. 
St.  John  did  not  publish  his,  with  his  letters  and  the  Apo 
calypse,  till  toward  the  close  of  the  first  century  5  that  is, 
forty  years  after  St.  Paul  had  said  to  the  Romans,  "  Your 


faith  is  spoken  of  in  the  whole  world."  (Rom.  i,  8.)  At  the 
time  when  St.  Luke  wrote  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles,  there 
existed  many  churches,  governed  each  by  its  own  pastor, 
as  we  see  in  this  book  of  the  Acts.  The  churches  of 
Rome,  of  Corinth,  Colosse,  Thessalonica,  Galatia,  certainly 
existed  before  the  Epistles  to  the  Romans,  Corinthians, 
Colossians,  Thessalonians,  and  Galatians,  were  written. 
The  Apocalypse  contains  exhortations  and  reproofs  ad 
dressed  to  bishops  of  the  churches.  At  least  ten 
generations  of  Christians  had  lived  and  died  before  the 
world  knew  such  a  book  as  the  Bible.  It  was  only  in 
the  fourth  century,  when  the  persecutions  were  over,  that 
the  Church  could  and  did  gather  together  the  scattered 
books  which  she  had  carefully  preserved.  She  determined 
which  were  canonical  (holy  and  inspired),  and  which  were 
not.  Many  books  which  were  considered  inspired,  and 
supposed  to  have  been  written  by  the  apostles  or  their 
disciples,  were  set  aside  and  rejected  as  spurious,  or  not 
inspired.  The  Catholic  Church  collected  the  proper  books 
in  one  volume ;  she  put  this  volume  into  the  hands  of 
her  children  j  she  told  them  it  was  the  word  of  God,  and 
commanded  them  to  believe  and  receive  it  as  such. 

As  the  art  of  printing  was  not  invented  until  more  than  a 
thousand  years  after  the  authorized  collection  of  the 
Scriptures,  the  Church  had  the  Bible  copied  thousands  of 
times.  She  translated  it  into  different  languages^  and 
continued  to  watch  over  its  safety,  and  to  guard  it  with 
parental  care,  amidst  storms  and  revolutions,  amidst  fire 
and  floods,  amidst  changes  and  persecutions.  .  She  presses 
it  to  her  bosom  as  a  treasure  of  priceless  value  j  her 
children  repeatedly  shed  their  blood  to  preserve  it,  rather 
than  expose  or  surrender  it  to  the  danger  of  profanation. 


'  /A  s  / 

Under  the  fiery  persecutions  of  Diocletian,  hundreds  of 
Christians  laid  down  their  lives  rather  than  give  up  the 
sacred  books ;  and  later  on,  during  the  revolution  of  the 
middle  ages,  the  first  thing  always  thought^ of  by  the 
monks,  who  were  then  the  principal  transcribers  of  the 
Bible,  was  to  transport  the  sacred  volume  to  the  mountains, 
or  to  some  other  place  of  safety,  at  the  first  approach 
of  danger. 

As  it  is  the  Catholic  Church  alone  that  has  pre 
served  the  sacred  Scriptures,  so  also,  the  Catholic  Church 
alone  can  assure  us  that  these  writings  are  inspired  by 
God,  have  God  for  their  author,  are  his  infallible  word. 
Inspiration  is  something  altogether  supernatural,  something 
that  cannot  be  perceived  by  any  of  the  senses  j  soine- 
thing  which  cannot  be  rendered,  infallibly  certain  by  feel 
ing  or  reason,  or  any  merely  human  testimony,  for  no  man 
ever  saw  a  prophet  or  an  evangelist  converse  with  God. 
No  sacred  writer  ever  asserted  that  any  of  his  writings 
were  inspired.  No  private  man,  therefore,  is  able  per 
sonally  to  discover,  satisfactorily,  divine  inspiration  either 
in  the  forty-five  books  of  the  Old  Testament,  or  in  the 
twenty-seven  of  the  New.  To  know  what  is  from  God, 
inspired  qr  spoken  by  God,  it  .  is  necessary  to  have 
come  from  God,  and  to  be  guided  by  God.  And  the 
Catholic,  Church  alone  is  that  society  which  is  established 
and  guided  by  God,  to  make  known  to  men,  with  divine, 
infallible  certainty,  what  is  the  word  of  God,  and  what  is 
not.  She  has  parsed  her  infallible  judgment  on  the  holy 
Bible.  TKe  Council  of  Trent  says:  "If  any  one  does 
not  receive  all  these  books,  with  their  parts,  as  sacred  and 
canonical,  let  him  be  anathema."  After  such  a  solemn 
declaration  of  the  Church  concerning  the  authenticity  and 


inspiration  of  the  holy  books,  every  Catholic  says,  with 
St.  Augustine :  "  For  my  own  part,  I  should  not  have 
believed  the  Gospel,  if  I  had  not  been  influenced  by  the 
authority  of  the  Catholic  Church.'*'  Luther  himself,  the 
apostate  monk,  could  not  help  making  a  similar  declara 
tion :  "  We  are  compelled,"  he  says,  "to  concede  to  the 
Papists  that  they  have  the  word  of  God;  that,  without 
them,  we  should  have  had  no  knowledge  of  it  at^  all." 
(Comment,  on  St.  John,  chap,  xvi.)  Now  then,  answer 
to  the  question  of  the  Catechism  : 

3.  What  i?  Holy  Scripture  ? 

Holy^  Scripture  is  a  collection  of  books,  written  under  the 
inspiration  of  the  IIftly  Ghost,  and  acknowledged  by  the 
Church  to  be  the  written  word  of  God.  Now, 

4,  How  is  the  Holy  Scripture  divided? 

Holy  Scripture  is  divided  into  the  books  of  the  Old  and 

of  the  New  Testament,  or  of  the  Old  and  of  the  Neiv  Law. 

{  >    f        / 

The  Bible  is  divided  into  two  parts.  The  first  part  con 
tains  those  books  which  were  written  before  the  coming  of 
Christ ;  and  the  second  part  consists  of  those  books  which 
were  written  after  Christ's  coming.  All  the  books  of  the 
first  part,  combined,  are  called  the  Old  Testament,  or  the  Old 
Law.  The  word,  "  testament,"  means  alliance,  or  covenant. 
The  Old  Testament  is  the  alliance,  or  covenant,  which  God 
made  with  the  ancient  Jewish  people,  through  his  great 
servant,  Moses.  It  is  a  contract  containing,  on  the  one 
part,  the  commands  and  promises  of  God  j  and,  on  the 
other,  the  engagements  of  the  Jewish  people  to  keep  God's 

»  / 

The  books  of  the  second  part  of  the  Bible  are  called  the 
New  Testament.  The  New  Testament  is  the  alliance,  or 
covenant,  which  God  has  made  with  his  new  people,  the 


Christians,  through  Jesus  Christ,  his  own  beloved  Son, 
This  alliance  is  more  perfect  than  was  the  ancient  one 
with  the  Jews. 

5.  What  do  the  books  of  the  Old  and  the  New  Testament 
contain  ? 

The  books  of  the  Old  Testament  contain  the  principal 
truths  which  God  revealed,,  before  the  coming  of  Christ ;  and 
the  books  of  the  New  Testament  contain  part  of  the  truths 
which  God  revealed  through  Christ  and  his  apostles. 

In  order  to  prevent  men  from  forgetting  or  altering  his 
law,  God  commanded  Moses  to  write  down  all  his  Ordi 
nances.  He  also  afterward  inspired  the  prophets  and  Others 
to  write  their  prophecies,  their  instructions,  and,  in  later 

times,  the  doctrine  and  history  of  the   Catholic  Church. 
t1  j  •>  j 

According  to  their  contents,  the  books  of  the  Old  Testa 
ment  are  divided  into  three  parts : 

1.  The  historical  books,  twenty- one  in  number.  They  are  : 
the  five  books  of  Moses  :  Genesis,  Exodus,  Leviticus,  Ntfm- 
bers,  Deuteronomy.     These  are  called  the  Pentateuch,  or 
the  Law.    In  them  are  related  the  creation  of  the  world,  the 
lives  of  the  patriarchs,  and  the  covenant  which  God  made 
with  his  people,  who  were  called  the  Jews,  or  the  Hebrews, 
or   the    Israelites.     The    other   historical   books    contain 
either  the  history  of  the  people  of  God  in  general,  such 
as  :  the  books  of  Joshua,  that  of  Judges,  the  four  books  of 
Kings,  the  two  books  called  Paralipomenon,  the  books  of 
Esdras,  that  of  Nehemias,  and  the  two  books  of  Machabees  f 
or  they  contain  the  history  of  certain  saints  or  other  illus 
trious  personages,  such  as:  the    histories  of   Job,  Ruth, 
Tobias,  Judith  and  Esther. 

2.  TJie  moral  books,  or  the  books  of  instruction.     These 
teach  men   how  to  lead  holy  lives j    they  are:    the  one 


hundred  and  fifty  Psalms  of  David,  the  Proverbs,  Eccle- 
siastes,  the  Canticle  of  Canticles,  the  book  of  Wisdom, 
and  Ecclesiasticus. 

3.  The  prophetical  books,  namely:  the  books  of  the 
four  great  prophets,  Isaias,  Jeremias,  Ezechiel,  and  Daniel; 
to  which  may  be  added  David,  t  and  the  twelve  minor 
prophets :  Osee,  Joel,  Amos,  Abdias,  Jonas,  Micheas, 
Nahum,  Habacuc,  Sophonias,  Aggeus,  Zacharias,  and 
Malachias.  These  are  called  the  minor  prophets,  because 
they  wrote  less  than  the  first  four.  The  books  of  the 
prophets  mostly  contain  prophecies  or  announcements  of 
future  events. 

The  books  of  the 'New  Testament  are  also  divided, 
according  to  their  contents,  into  three  parts : 

1.  The    historical   books   (the  Gospels  written  by  St. 
Matthew,  St.  Mark,  St.  Luke,  and  St.  John),  and  the  Acts 
of  the  Apostles,  written  by  St.  Luke. 

2.  The  books  of  instruction,  which  are  the  fourteen 
Epistles  by  St.  Paul :    one  to  the    Eomans,  two    to    the 
Corinthians,  one  to  ^the  Galatians,  one   to  the  Ephesians, 
one  to  the  Philippians,  one  to  the  Colossians;  two  to  the 
Thessalonians,    two   to  Timothy,  one    to    Titus,   one    to 
Philemon,  one  to  the  Hebrews;  one  by  St.  James  5  two  by 
St.  Peter ;  three  by  St.  John  j  and  one  by  St.  Jude. 

3.  The  prophetic  book,  or  the   Apocalypse,  or  Revela 
tions,  by  St.  John.     The  catalogue  of  the  books  of  the 
Old  and  the  New  Testament  is  called  the  canon  of  the 
Scriptures,    and  hence     the    sacred   writings    themselves 
are  called  canonical.      "  These  divine  writings,"  says  St. 
Isidore  of  Pelusium,  "which  are  set  before  thee  in  the 
Church  of  God,  receive  as  tried  gold,  they  having  been 
tried  in  the  fire  by  the  divine  Spirit  of  the  truth.     They 


are  steps  whereby  to  ascend  to  God."  (Lib.  i,  Ep.  369  ; 
Gyro,  96.    Paris,  1638.) 

All  the  sacred  truths,  however,  taught  by  our  divine 
Saviour  and  his  apostles,  are  not  found  in  the  sacred 
Scriptures.  Hence,  it  is  said  in  the  Catechism  that  the 
New  Testament  contains  but  part  of  the  truths  which  God 
Revealed  by  Jesus  Christ  and  his  apostles.  Several  of 
these  truths  have  been  handed  down  by  tradition. 

6.  What  is  tradition  ? 

Tradition  is  that  part  of  Christ's  doctrine  which  is  not 
recorded  in  the  New  Testament. 

Tradition  signifies  testimony  or  truth,  handed  down  by 
word  of  mouth  from  father  to  son,  and  generation  to 
generation.  By  tradition,  as  here  used,  is  understood  the 
word  of  God,  not  written  in  the  sacred  books,  but  pre 
served  in  the  memory  of  men  in  the  manner  described. 
In  no  age  did  God  wish  that  all  he  had  taught  men  for  their 
salvation  should  be  fully  and  clearly  recorded  in  writing. 
In  fact,  for  two  thousand  years  there  was  no  written 
word  of  God.  Moses  was  the  first  whom  God  inspired 
to  write  down  that  which  he  had  made  Ijtnown  to  mankind 
from  the  beginning  of  the  world  until  his  time.  But 
God  did  not  inspire  Moses  to  write  down  a  full,  clear  state 
ment  of  all  religious  truth. 

Were  Noe,  or  any  other  of  the  patriarchs,  to  come  to  us 
with  a  copy  of  what  Moses  wrote  about  his  knowledge  of 
God  and  the  truths  revealed  by  the  Lord,  he  would  tell 
us  that  he  had  a  wider,  clearer,  more  definite,  arid  more 
practical  knowledge  of  religious  truth,  than  is  conveyed  by 
the  words  of  Moses  to  the  isolated  reader.  We  find,  for  in 
stance,  the  distinction  made  between  clean  and  unclean 
'  *  / 

animals,  which  distinction  evidently  had  reference  to  the 


divine  institution  of  sacrifice,  of  the  origin  of  which  we 
nowhere  read  in  Scripture.  Nor  are  we  told  what  animals 
were  fit,  and  what  were  unfit,  for  that  holy  rite.  All, this 
Noe  would,  of  course,  have  known  by  divine  tradition. 
He  was  to  take  by  sevens  of  the  clean,  and  by  twos  of 
the  unclean. 

In  the  account  of  the  fall  of  man,  there  is  no  express  men 
tion  made  of  the  evil  being  who  caused  the  fall,  but  only 
of  the  visible  form  which  he  assumed.  That  it  was  Satan, 
all  the  patriarchs  and  the  Jews  knew ;  but  the  fact  that  it 
was  Satan,  is  mentioned  in  a  part  of  holy  Scripture  which 
was  never  in  the  hands  of  the  Jews,  viz.  :  the  12th 
chapter  of  the  Apocalypse,  verse  9.  That  Henoch  pro 
phesied,  is  nowhere  recorded  in  the  Old  Testament.  Yet 
the  patriarchs,  after  Henoch,  and  the  Jews  knew  Henoch's 
prophecy  about  our  Lord.  It  has  been  preserved  by  tra 
dition,  and  confirmed  by  St.  Jude  the  Apostle,  14,  15  : 
u  Now  of  these  Henoch  also,  the  seventh  from  Adam, 
prophesied,  saying :  Behold,  the  Lord  cometh  with  thou 
sands  of  his  saints,  to  execute  judgment  upon  all,  to  reprove 
all  the  ungodly  for  all  the  works  of  their  ungodliness, 
whereby  they  have  done  ungodly,  and  of  all  the  hard 
things  which  ungodly  sinners  have  spoken  against  God." 
Holy  Scripture  also  tells  us  of  Henoch  :  "  Henoch  walked 

with  God,  and  was  seen  no  more,  because  God  took  him." 

7  / 

(Gen,  v,  24.)  The  expression,  "  was  seen  no  more,"  implies 
his  removal  from  the  earth.  But  we  certainly  should 
neVer  have  discovered  the  important  fact  of  his  trans 
lation  in  the  flesh  without  other  help  than  those  words 
themselves  afford.  Throughout  the  rest  of  the  Old  Testa 
ment  writings  there  is  no  clear  statement  of  this  fact. 
We  owe  our  certain  knowledge  of  the  real  case  entirely 


to  the  words  of  St.  Paul,  who  gives  an  explanation  of  it  in 
his  Epistle  to  the  Hebrews :  "  By  faith  Henoch  was 
translated,  that  he  should  not  see  death,  and  he  was  not 
found,  because  God  had  translated  him :  for  before  his 
translation  he  had  testimony  that  he  pleased  God."  (Heb. 
xi,  5.)  The  knowledge  of  the  fact,  however,  was  preserved 
traditionally  among  God's  people,  and  the  truth  of  the 
tradition  is  confirmed  by  an  inspired  writer.  Henoch  is 
still  living  and  in  the  flesh. 

In  the  whole  period  before  the  Deluge,  we  have  but 
one  recorded  revelation  respecting  man's  spiritual  interests, 
and  that  is  the  statement  made  to  the  serpent :  "  And 
the  Lord  God  said  to  the  serpent :  Because  thou  hast 
done  this  thing,  thou  art  cursed  among  all  cattle  and  beasts 
of  the  earth :  upon  thy  breast  shalt  thou  go,  and  earth 
shalt  thou  eat  all  the  days  of  thy  life.  I  will  put  enmities 
between  thee  and  the  woman,  and  thy  seed  and  her  seed ; 
she  shall  crush  thy  head,  and  thou  shalt  lie  in  wait  for  her 
heel."  (Gen.  iii,  14,  15.) 

Now  that  statement,  by  itself,  is  evidently  quite  inade 
quate  as  a  foundation  for  such  a  living,  practical  system 
of  religion  as  existed  at  that  time.  It  requires  the  exist 
ence  of  a  divinely-appointed  teaching  Church,  with  its 
groundwork  of  traditional  knowledge,  to  give  a  value  to 
that  statement.  The  patriarchs  before  the  Flood  could  not 
possibly  have  obtained  from  that  brief  statement  all  the 
knowledge  of  the  truth  which  they  undoubtedly  had.  The} 
knew  the  extent  and  value  of  that  statement  by  the  teach 
ing  of  the  divine  system  in  which  they  lived,  and  which 
they  humbly  followed 

Even  when  we  come  to  Abraham,  who  seems  to  have 
lived  in  the  very  light  of  God's  countenance,  we  find  that 


the  revelation  made  to  him  is  brief  and  indistinct.  Surely, 
in  the  words,  "  in  thy  seed/'  there  is  not  enough  whereon 
to  build  the  whole  religion  of  Abraham. 

The  main  feature,  however,  of  the  patriarchal  Church, 
was  sacrifice,  which  requires  more  particular  notice.  We 
do  not  read  anywhere  of  the  institution  of  the  rite  of  sacri 
fice,  nor  of  the  meaning  of  the  rite,  nor  is  there  any  com 
mand  mentioned  for  offering  sacrifice  till  we  come  to  the 

Mosaic  time :  but  allusions  in  the  book  of  Genesis  show 

)  > 

that  sacrifices  were  continually  going    on,  and  in  some 

cases,  as  for  instance,  Gen.  xv.,  they  were  sacrifices  of  a 
very  peculiar  nature,  and  of  a  highly  ceremonial  charac- 
ter.  We  find  Abraham,  by  God's  command,  offering  not 
merely  a  lamb  or  a  bullock,  but  "  a  cow  of  three  years 
old,  and  a  she-goat  of  three  years,  and  a  ram  of  three 
years  ;  a  turtle  also,  and  a  pigeon."  (Gen.  xv,  9.)  The 
offerer  of  such  sacrifices  learned  a  great  deal  by  his  habit 
of  sacrificing.  He  was  schooled  by  it  into  a  due  acknow 
ledgment  of  God  as  his  Creator,  taught  humility,  and  a 
dependence  upon  something  with  which  God  had  pro 
vided  him  to  become  acceptable  in  his  presence.  The 
tendency  of  every  sacrifice  manifestly  was  to  impress 
upon  man,  practically,  a  sense  of  his  own  unworthiness 
to  appear  before  God  without  some  atonement ;  to  teach 
him  that  without  some  death  or  suffering,  undergone  on 
his  account,  he  could  not  worship  God  pro'perly  ;  to  make 
him,  so  far  as  he  could  then  be  made,  a  Christian.  A 
sense,  then,  of  sinfulness,  and  of  the  necessity  of  atone 
ment,  was  the  practical  habit  formed  by  sacrifices  j  and  so 
mankind  were  trained  in  a  state  of  preparation  for  the 
Gospel  and  its  benefits. 

What,  then,  is  the  light  in  which  we  are  to  regard  t^ese 


brief  revelations  of  holy  Scripture?  We  are  to  look 
upon  them  as  solemn  declarations,  full  of  deep  meaning 
and  import,  presupposing  a  divine  teaching  system,  but 
clothed  and  wrapped  up,  as  it  were  ;  not  speaking  clearly, 
if  at  all,  to  persons  who  knew  nothing  else  than  those 
words,  yet  giving  sufficient  knowledge  to  those  living 
under  a  divinely-appointed  teacher  of  traditional  know 
ledge.  There  was  a  patriarchal  body,  a  patriarchal 
church,  in  which  there  was  a  system  of  religious  education, 
clear  and  distinct,  so  far  as  it  went ;  a  ceremonial  and 
certain  sacraments,  by  which  men  were  drawn  toward  God, 
and  taught  the  knowledge  of  the  truth.  That  patriarchal 
church,  or  body,  simply  because  it  was  God's  ordinance, 
was  a  guide  sure  and  infallible,  to  the  extent  of  the  revelaf- 
tion  then  made  known.  It  had  all  the  essentials  of  a 
teacher  from  God.  Its  knowledge,  though  partial,  was 
clear,  and  its  utterance  distinct  and  infallible. 

This  is  a  most  important  thing  to  bear  in  mind,  because 
infidelity,  rationalism,  and  heresy,  in  every  form,  are 
always  taking  advantage  of  the  brevity  of  holy  Scripture, 
its  want  of  explicitness,  to  the  disparagement  of  its  teach 
ing,  and  of  religion  in  general.  For  instance,  the  fact  that 
the  doctrines  of  the  immortality  of  the  soul,  and  the  resur 
rection  of  the  body,  are  not  explicitly  stated  in  the  books  of 
Moses,  has  given  occasion  for  asserting  that  those  truths 
were  not  known  at  that  time  ;  and  that  all  that  holy  men 
of  old  were  looking  to,  all  that,  in  fact,  the  Church  of 
Israel  desired  and  hoped  for,  lay  on  this  side  the  grave  ; 
and  that  life  and  immortality  were  in  no  sense  brought 
to  light  before  the  coming  of  the  Gospel.  Such  a  distinction 
between  former  dispensation  and  the  Christian  is  used  as 
an  argument  against  the  Christian  revelation. 


We  ought,  then,  to  remember  that  the  patriarchs, 
and  the  patriarchal  body  generally,  had  a  clear,  definite, 
practical  knowledge  of  religious  truth, — a  wider  knowledge 
than  the  mere  words  of  holy  Scripture,  had  they  possessed 
them,  could  have  conveyed  to  isolated  minds.  They 
infallibly  preserved,  by  divine  tradition,  the  religious  truths 
and  the  promises  of  God. 

From  the  beginning  of  the  world  to  the  time  of  Moses, 
the  faithful  followers  of  God  believed  in  an  unwritten 
divine  revelation  or  in  tradition.  From  the  time  of 
Mdses,  almost  to  the  time  of  the  coming  of  the  Redeemer, 
those,  also,  who  were  saved  outside  the  Jewish  people, 
had  faith  in  tradition.  It  was  also  by  tradition  alone 
that  the  Jews  knew  several  religious  truths :  such  as  the 
Trinity,  original  sin,  the  spirituality  and  immortality  of 
the  soul,  the  future  incarnation.  It  was  a  tradition 
among  the  Jews  that,  besides  the  written  revelation,  Moses 
also  received,  on  Mount  Sinai,  an  oral  and  traditional 
revelation,  which  he  transmitted  to  the  priests.  To  this 
tradition  our  Saviour  appealed.  (Matt,  xxiii,  2.)  Moses, 
the  judges,  King  David,  and  others  of  the  inspired  writers, 
repeatedly  referred  the  Jews  to  it.  The  traditions  of 
the  Pharisees  and  of  the  heathens  only  are  condemned. 

There  has  ever  been  a  Church  of  God,  a  society  pos 
sessing  and  preserving  a  full  and  clear  traditional  know 
ledge  of  divine  ,truth,  independent  of  all  writing,  or 
collection  of  writings.  Of  course  this  is  so  under  the 
GospeHispensation.  Our  blessed  Lord  founded  his  Church, 
committed  to  her  the  deposit  of  truth,  commissioned  her 
to  teach  that  truth  to  all  nations,  and  promised  to  be  with 
her  so  teaching^  till  he  should  come  again;  and  to  that 
teaching  he  enjoined  obedience  under  the  severest  menace  : 


"He  that  believeth  not  shall  be  condemned."  (Mark 
xvi,  15.)  Those  doctrines  which  our  Lord^and  Saviour 
Jesus  Christ  taught  his  apostles  by  word  of  mouth, 
but  which  they  have  not  committed  to  writing,  together 
with  those  which  the  Holy  Ghost  dictated  to  them,  and 
which  they  were  to  transmit  to  the  Universal  Church, 
are  called  the  Christian  traditions,  or  the  word  of  God, 
not  written  in  the  New  Testament.  Holy  Scripture  itself 
and  the  early  Fathers  of  the  CHurch  tell  us  that  the  whole 
doctrine  of  Christ  and  his  apostles  was  not  written  down  : 
"  There  are  also,"  says  St.  John,  at  the  end  of  his  Gospel, 
"  many  other  things  which  Jesus  did,  which,  if  they  were 
written  every  one,  the  world  itself,  I  think,  would  not  be 
able  to  contain  the  books  that  should  be  written."  (Chap, 
xxi,  25.)  "All  things,"  writes  St.  Epiphanius,  "are  not 
found  in  the  holy  Scripture,  for  the  apostles  have  taught 
us  some  by  tradition,  some  by  writing."  Whence,  for 
instance,  do  we  know  that  the  Old  and  the  New  Testament 
are  inspired  writings  5  that  the  Sunday  is  to  be  kept  holy, 
instead  of  Saturday ;  that  the  baptism  conferred  uj5on 
infants  by  heretics  is  valid  ;  that  baptism  is  necessary  for 
children  j  that  the  receiving  of  holy  communion  is  not 
necessary  for  the  salvation  of  infants  ?  These  and  oiher 
doctrinal  or  moral  truths  we  know  only  by  tradition. 

7.  How  has  the  unwritten  word  of  God  come  down  to  us  ? 

The  unwritten  word  of  (jrod  has  come  down  to  us  by  the 
constant  and  invariable  teaching  of  the  Church. 

The  apostles  taught  the  truths  which  they  had  learned 
from  Christ.  They  took  great  care  to  instruct  their  dis 
ciples  thoroughly,  and  make  them  capable  of  so  instructing 
others.  Thus  their  pure  and  holy  doctrine  was  delivered 
to  the  first  bishops  and  priests  of  the  Roman  Catholic 


Church.  By  them  it  was,  in  like  manner,  handed  down  to 
their  successors,  and  so  on,  unimpaired,  to  those  who,  at 
the  present  time,  teach  in  the  Catholic  Church.  This  we 
know  fromVhat  St.  Paul  writes  to  the  Bishop  Timothy, 
and  from  the  early  Fathers  of  the  Church :  "And  the 
things  which  thou  hast  heard  of  me  before  many  witnesses" 
writes  St.  Paul,  "the  same  commend  (intrust)  to  faithful 
men,  who  shall  be  fit  to  teach  others."  (2  Tim.  ii,  2.)  St. 
Polycarp,  Bishop  of  Smyrna,  who  was  acquainted  with 
many  of  Christ's  disciples,  and  especially  with  St.  John, 
writes  :  **  I  have  always  taught  what  I  have  received  from 
the  apostles." 

"  We  received  the  Gospels  from  the  apostles,"  says  St. 
Clement ;  "  they  were  sent  by  Jesus  Christ ;  Jesus  Christ 
was  sent  by  God.  Receiving  command,  and  by  the  resur 
rection  of  our  Lord  fully  secured,  and  strengthened  by  the 
Holy  Spirit,  the  apostles  went  out,  announcing  the  coming 
of  the  kingdom  of  God.  They  preached  through  the 
country  and  towns,  and  appointed  bishops  and  deacons, 
their  first  fruits,  and  whom  they  had  proved  by  the 
spirit.  These  our  apostles  knew,  through  Je^us  Christ, 
that  disputes  concerning  episcopacy  would  arise  ;  where 
fore  they  appointed  those  of  whom  I  have  spoken,  and 
thus  established  the  series  of  future  succession,  that,  when 
they  should  die,  other  approved  men  might  enter  on  their 
ministry."  (Ep.  i,  ad  Cor.,  Tuter  P.  P.  Apost.,  t.  i,  p.  171: 
Amstel.  1724.)  The  pastors  of  the  Church,  then,  taught 
what  they  received.  Christ  left  his  revelation  living  in  the 
divine  authority  of  the  pastors  of  his  Church  ;  by  these  it  is 
left  also  living  in  the  unanimous  consent  of  the  Fathers  and 
Doctors  of  the  Church  ;  in  the  decrees  and  decisions  of  Gen 
eral  Councils  and  of  the  Sovereign  Pontiffs;  in  the  liturgies 


or  other  forms  of  prayer ;  in  the  acts  of  the  martyrs ;  in 
the  public  and  solemn  administration  of  the  sacraments  5  in 
the  catechisms  and  books  of  instruction  of  Christian  writers  j 
in  the  faith,  the  prayers,  the  religious  practices  of  the  Chris 
tian  family,  and  the  Christian  monuments  of  the  Church. 
The  Catholic  Church  is  the  Jiving  Gospel  Those  who  have 
seen  the  grand  cathedrals  in  Europe  tell  us  that  there  they 
found  expressed,  in  the  most  striking  forms  of  the  Rcmian- 
esque  and  Gothic  styles,  the  precept  of  prayer,  the  faith 
in  the  Real  Presence,  and  in  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass, 
the  distinction  between  clergy  and  people,  and  the  preemi 
nence  of  bishops  over  simple  priests  j  that  there  they  read 
the  principal  truths  of  the  Gospel  in  the  pictures  and  em 
blems  on  the  window-glass.  And  those  who  have  visited 
the  catacombs  of  Rome  tell  us  that  there  they  saw  altars 
for  the  celebration  of  the  Mass  ;  the  bones  of  martyrs  under 
the  stone  upo'n  which  Jefeus  Christ  was  offered  ;  tribunals 
of  penance,  where  the  Christians,  during  the  first  three 
centuries,  confessed  their  sins,  befo're  receiving  holy  com 
munion  ;  that  there  they  found  sculptures  representing 
Christ  crucified,  his  ever  blessed  Virgin  Mother  MaVy, 
his  holy  apostles,  the  primacy  of  St.  Peter,  the  belief  in 
purgatory,  the  invocation  of  saints,  and  the  practice  of 
baptizing  infants. 

Now,  this  is  the  Gospel  written  in  the  blood  of  martyrs 
on  the  tombs  and  vaults  of  these  catacombs,  engraven  in 
the  very  b6wels  of  Rome,  inlaid  in  stone  and  in  marble,  as 
precisely  and  clearly  as  in  our  catechisms.  Again,  were 
we  to  examine  the  documents  of  old  libraries,  the  books  of 
the  Greek  and  Latin  Fathers,  of  the  writers  of  controversy 
of  eVery  country  and  of  every  century,  we  should  find 
the  Gospel  spoken  and  proclaimed  in  all  languages,  as  on 


/  / 

the  day  of  Pentecost.  Finally,  if  we  recall  to  our  mind  the 
universal  religious  practices  :  the  frequent  use  of  the  sign 
of  the  cross,  the  practice  of  fasting  in  Lent,  prayer  for 
the  dead,  repeating  the  Apostles'  Creed, — are  they  not  the 
living  Gospel  ?  Indeed,  the  Catholic  Church  and  the 
Gospel  are  one.  Where  else  could  we  find  the  "  Thou  art 
Peter," — that  is,  the  Church  founded  upon  Peter  ?  Where 
else  should  we  find  the  "  I  am  with  you  all  days," — that  is, 
an  episcopate  uninterrupted  from  the  days  of  Jesus  Christ 
to  our  own  time  ?  Where  else  should  we  find  the  "Whose- 
soeVer  sins  you  shall  forgive,  they  are  forgiven  them," — 
that  is,  the  ministry  of  the  forgiveness  of  sins  ?  Where  else, 
indeed,  should  we  find  the  sacrifice  of  which  the  apostle 
speaks — the  realization  of  the  words  of  St.  Paul,  "  We  have 
an  altar," — that  is,  the  universal  and  perpetual  sacrifice 
announced  by  the  prophets,  the  sacrifice  according  to  the 
rite  of  the  high-priest  of  Salem,  the  sacrifice  under  the 
appearance  of  bread  arid  wine,  the  "  priest  forever,  accord 
ing  to  the  order  of  Melchisedech  "  ? 

All  these  are  facts  which  most  eloquently  bear  witness 
to  ^the  Gospel  truths  of  the  Catholic  Church ;  they  are 
witnesses  which  no  heresy  can  silence  j  they  are  barriers 
in  defence  of  her  Scriptural  and  traditional  truths,  which 
no  subtlety  can  undermine,  no  boldness  surmount. 

,  8.  Must  we  believe  the  unwritten  word  of  God  just  as 
firmly  as  the  written  ? 

Yqs,  because  the  one  is  the  word  of  God  just  as  well  as 

the  other. 

The  doctrines  taught  by  Jesus  Christ  and  his  apostles, 
which  have  not  been  written  in  the  New  Testament,  are 

/  ' 

no  less  true  than  those  which  are  there  written.  The 
apostles  taught  the  true  doctrine  of  Christ  not  less  by 


their  preaching  than  by  their  writings  j  and  the  Holy  Ghost 
expressed  his  will  as  well  by  their  tongues  as  by  their 
pens.  "Therefore,  brethren,"  writes  St.  Paul,  "stand 
fast,  and  hold  the  traditions  which  you  have  learned, 
whether  by  word  or  by  our  epistle."  ("2  Thess.  ii,  14.) 
"It  is,  then,  evident,"  writes  St.  John  Chrysostom,  "that 
the  apostles  taught  many  things  without  writing,  which 
we  must  believe  as  firmly  as  those  which  are  written." 
(Horn,  iv,  on  2d  Epist.  to  the  Thessal.) 

Hence,  "  if  you  are  a  Christian,"  says  Tertullian, 
"  believe  what  has  been  handed  down."  (De  Prescript, 
xix.)  To  refifse  to  believe  in  the  unwritten  word  of  God 
is  as  much  as  to  say  to  the  Lord:  "I  will  believe  in  thy 
word — in  all  that  thou  te'llest,  on  condition,  that  thou 
takest  the  trouble  to  give  it  to  me  in  writing."  What 
folly,  what  impiety  is  this !  Such  impiety  is  abhorred 
and  condemned  by  the  Catholic  Church.  "  There  are," 
says  the  Council  of  Trent,  "  truths  and  rules  of  conduct 
contained  in  unwritten  teaching,  which,  being  received  by 
the  apostles  from  the  lips  of  Christ  himself,  or  delivered 
by  the  apostles  themselves,  under  the  dictation  of  the 
Holy  Ghost,  have  come  down  as  from  hand  to  hand,  eVen 
to  us.  These  traditions  the  Council  receives  and  venerates 
with  the  like  piety  and  reverence  as  it  does  the  holy 
Scriptures  ;  arid  if  any  one  knowingly  and  deliberately 
h«lds  the  aforesaid  traditions  in  contempt,  let  him  be 
anathema."  (Sess.  iv.)  "  Let  us,  therefore,"  says  St.  John 
Chrysostom,  "account  the  tradition  of  the  Church  worthy 
of  faith.  It  is  tradition — ask  no  more."  (Horn,  iv,  in 
Epist.  ii,  Thess.,  n.  2.)  "  It  never  was,"  says  St.  Vincent 
of  Lerins,  "  it  nowhere  is,  it  never  will  be,  allowable  for 
Catholic  Christians  to  teach  any  other  doctrine  than  that 


which  they  have  received  ;  and  it  always  has  been,  every 
where  is,  and  will  be,  their  duty  to  anathematize  those  who 
do  otherwise."  (Commonit.  adv.  Hsereses.)  The  infalli- 
ble  rule  of  faith  which  Christ  left  for  all  men  is  to  believe 
all  that  his  Church  teaches.  Wherefore,  "  that  only  is 
of  divine  faith  which  God  has  revealed,  and  which  the 
Church  proposes  to  our  belief."  Not  to  believe  what  the 
Church  teaches  is  "  to  be  a  heathen  and  a  publican,"  a  great 
sinner  before  God.  Certain  it  is,  that  whatever  truth 
the  Catholic  Church  proposes  to  our  belief,  it  is  contained 
either  in  holy  Scripture  or  in  tradition.  But  the  authori 
tative  reason  for  believing  it,  is  the  divine,  infallible  teach 
ing  authority  of  the  Church.  We  need  her  unerring  voice, 
especially  in  the  interpretation  of  holy  Scripture.  Hence 
it  is  asked  in  the  Catechism : 

9,  Is  it  easy  for  every  one  to  understand  the  Holy 
Scripture  ? 

And  the  answer  is  :  No  ;  for,  what  St.  Peter  says  of  the 
Epistles  of  St.  Paul  may  be  applied  to  many  other  passages 
of  holy  Scripture,  namely :  "  There  are  certain  things  in 
his  (St.  Paul's],  Epistles  which  are  hard  to  be  understood, 
which  the  unlearned  and  unstable  ivrest,  as  they  also  do  the 
other  Scriptures,  to  their  own  destruction."  (2  Pet.  iii,  16.) 

Evidence  of  this  simple  truth  is  seen  every  day.  Protes 
tant  sects,  such  as  the  Mormons,  build  systems  of  the  grossest 
immorality  on  perverted  texts  of  Scripture.  C/nly  recently, 
members  of  an  English  sect  called  the  Peculiar  People  were 
brought  up  for  trial  in  the  civil  courts,  for  having  caused 
the  death  of  a  child.  They  refused  to  call  in  the  services 
of  a  doctor  when  the  child  was  sick,  justifying  their  conduct 
by  such  Scriptural  texts  as :  "  The  Lord  shall  heal  the 
sick  man,"  "Not  a  bone  of  him  ye  shall  break,"  etc. 


Luther  declared  on  his  death-bed  :  "  We  are  mere  sch^ol- 
boys,  incapable  of  thoroughly  understanding  one  single 
verse  of  Scripture ;  and  it  is  with  difficulty  we  succeed  in 
learning  the  A  B  C  of  it.  Five  years'  hard  labor  will 
be  required  to  understand  Virgil's  Greorgics  ;  twenty  years' 
experience  to  be  master  of  Cicero's  Epistles  ;  and  a  hundred 
years'  intercourse  with  the  prophets  Elias,  Eliseus,  John 
the  Baptist,  Christ,  and  the  apostles,  to  know  the  Scrip 
tures  !  Alas  !  poor  human  nature  !  "  (Florimond  Remond, 
b.  iii,  c.  ii,  fol.  287;  Laign,  Vita  Lutheri,  fol.  4.)  The 
Scriptures  greatly  differ  from  all  human  writings.  These 
can  be  understood  at  once,  provided  the  mind  be  applied 
to  them,  and  be  sufficiently  disciplined  to  follow  the  author's 
train  of  thought.  There  is  no  such  thing  as  meaning  hid 
den  behind  meaning  in  human  writings.  Once  we  have 
mastered  them,  we  know  the  whole  of  their  contents.  Not 
so  with  holy  Scripture.  After  we  have  critically  studied 
the  language  of  the  Scripture  ;  after  we  have  accumulated 
all  external  information  bearing  on  its  matter ;  after  we 
have  availed  ourselves  of  all  the  aid  which  the  Church 
provides  for  her  children,  even  then  we  have  not  exhausted 
its  meaning. 

The  sense  of  holy  Scripture  cannot,  as  it  were,  be 
mapped,  or  its  contents  catalogued ;  but  after  all  our  dili 
gence,  to  the  end  of  our  lives,  and  to  the  end  of  the 
Church,  it  must  be  an  unexplored  and  unsubdued  land, 
with  heights  and  valleys,  forests  and  streams,  on  the  right 
and  left  of  our  path,  and  close  about  us,  full  of  concealed 
wonders  and  choice  treasures.  Of  no  doctrine  whatever, 
which  does  not  actually  contradict  what  has  been  delivered, 
can  it  be  peremptorily  asserted  that  it  is  not  in  Scripture  j 


of  no  reader,  whatever  be  his  study  of  it,  can  it  be  said 
that  he  has  mastered  every  doctrine  which  it  contains. 

This  peculiarity  of  the  holy  Scripture,  namely,  that  a 
great  deal  more  meaning  is  implied  in  the  word  of  God 
than  is  expressed,  constitutes  the  great  difficulty  in  the  way 
of  discovering  its  sense.  The  word  of  God  is,  indeed,  a 
word  holy  and  adorable  j  but  a  word  that  remains  silent 
under  every  interpretation.  When  difficulties  and  doubts 
arise,  then  I  must  have  some  external  guide  or  interpreter 
that  shall  solve  those  difficulties,  and  satisfy  my  doubts, 
and  that  guide  or  interpreter  must  be  unerring. 

10,  Who  is  the  infallible  interpreter  of  Holy  Scripture  ? 

The  Catholic  Church  alone  is  the  infallible  interpreter  of 
holy  Scripture. 

We  learn  the  sense  of  Scripture  in  the  same  way  as  we 
learn  the  rest  of  Christian  Doctrine,  that  is,  by  consulting 
and  listening  reverently  to  our  divine  teacher,  the  Cath 
olic  Church  j  for  the  sense  of  Scripture  was  divinely 
impressed  upon  the  mind  of  the  Church  by  her  divine 
Founder,  from  the  beginning  of  her  existence ;  that  sense 
being,  in  matter  of  fact,  nothing  more  nor  less  than  the 
deposit  of  faith,  which  it  was  the  Church's  duty  and  office 
to  guard,  interpret,  and  develop,  according  as  occasion 
should  serve.  "  The  apostles,"  says  St.  Irenseus,  "  care 
fully  intrusted  the  Scriptures  to  their  successors  j  and  to 
whom  the  Scriptures  were  intrusted,  to  them  also  was 
committed  the  interpretation  of  Scripture."  Accordingly, 
the  Church  has  decreed,  in  the  Council  of  Trent,  that  no 
one  should  presume  to  interpret  the  Scriptures  in  a  sanse 
contrary  to  that  which  she  has  held  and  holds,  or  contrary 
to  the  unanimous  consent  of  the  Fathers :  "  No  prophecy 


of  Scripture,"  says  St.  Peter,  "is  made  by  private  inter 
pretation."  (  2  Pet.  i,  20.) 

The  Church  may  make  known  the  sense  of  any  passage 
of  Scripture  in  two  ways :  directly  or  indirectly.  She 
makes  it  known  directly,  either  by  a  solemn  definition,  or 
by  the  universal  consent  of  the  Church,  from  the  Earliest 
times.  She  makes  it  known  indirectly,  when  she  tells 
us  that  we  are  to  interpret  Scripture  according  to  the 
analogy  of  faith  ;  that  is,  in  such  a  way  that  our  inter 
pretation  shall  be  in  harmony  with  her  teaching  upon  all 
other  points  of  Christian  Doctrine. 

As  to  the  unanimous  assent  of  the  Church,  we  may 
learn  this  from  the  writings  of  the  Fathers,  who,  themselves 
were  but  exponents  of  the  mind  of  the  one  living,  divine 
Teacher.  But  in  order  to  be  bound  by  the  interpretation 
of  the  Fathers,  the  Council  of  Trent  tells  us  that  that 
interpretation  must  be  morally  unanimous,  and,  moreover, 
on  some  point  in  connection  with  faith  or  morals.  But, 

11,  Does  not  the  Church  forbid  the  reading  of  the  Bible? 

No  ;  not  the  reading,  but  the  private  interpretation,  of 
tlie  Bible  is  forbidden. 

The  Scriptures  contain,  indeed,  the  revealed  mysteries 
of  divine  faith.  They  are,  undoubtedly,  the  most  excellent 
of  all  writings.  They  are  written  by  men  inspired  by 
God,  and  are  not  the  words  of  men,  but  the  infallible 
word  of  God,  which  can  save  our  souls.  (1  Thess.  ii,  13 ; 
James  i,  21.)  But  then  they  ought  to  be  read,  even  by 
the  learned,  with  the  spirit  of  humility,  and  with  a  fear 
of  mistaking  their  true  sense,  as  many  have  in  all  ages. 
Monseigneur  de  Cheverus,  in  his  sermons,  often  dwelt  on 
the  necessity  of  some  teaching  authority  to  render  un 
wavering  the  faith  of  the  learned  as  well  as  of  the  igno- 


rant.  To  convince  Protestants  of  this  necessity,  he  often 
repeated,  in  his  discoiirses  to  them,  these  simple  words : 
"  Every  day,  my  brethren,  I  read  the  holy  Scripture  like 
yourselves  j  I  read  it  with  reflection  and  prayer,  having 
previously  inv6ked  the  Hdly  Ghost,  and  yet,  at  almost 
every  page,  I  find  many  things  that  I  cannot  understand, 
and  I  find  the  great  necessity  of  some  speaking  authority, 
which  may  point  out  to  me  the  meaning  of  the  text,  and 
render  my  faith  firm."  And  his  hearers  immediately 
made  the  application  to  themselves.  "  If  Monseigneur 
de  Cheverus,"  said  they,  "who  is  more  learned  than  we, 
cannot  comprehend  the  sacred  Scripture,  how  is  it  that 
our  ministers  tell  us  that  the  Bible  is  to  each  of  us  a  full 
and  clear  rule  of  faith,  easily  understood  of  itself,  and 
requiring  no  aid  in  understanding  its  meaning  T7  Taking 
occasion  from  the  admission  that  even  the  most  learned 
cannot  agree  as  to  matters  of  faith,  the  zealous  bishop 
pointed  out  how  wisely  God  came  to  aid  human  weakness 
in  the  discovery  of  truth,  by  appointing  a  living,  speaking 
authority,  which,  drawing  its  origin  from  Christ  or  his 
apostles,  has  descended  down  to  us  by  an  uninterrupted 
succession  of  pastors,  professing,  at  all  times  and  in  all 
places,  and  without  the  least  variation,  the  same  holy 
doctrine  as  was  taught  and  professed  by  the  apostles. 

The  Bible  is,  indeed,  the  book  of  books,  or  the  best  book. 
Hence  the  Church  encourages  the  faithful  to  read  the  holy 
Scriptures  j  for,  says  Pope  Pius  VI,  "  they  are  the  most 
abundant  sources,  which  ought  to  be  left  open  to  every  one, 
to  draw  from  them  purity  of  morals  and  of  doctrine,  to 
uproot  the  errors  which  are  so  widely  spread  in  these 
corrupt  times."  To  guard,  however,  the  faithful  against 
corrupted  Bibles,  and  against  erroneous  interpretations,  the 


chief  pastors  of  the  Church  have  decreed  that,  with  regard 
to  reading  the  Bible  in  the  vernacular,  we  should  have  the 
learning  and  piety  requisite  for  it,  and  that  the  translation 
should  be  approved  by  the  Holy  See,  or  acco'mpamed  with 
explanations  by  a  bishop.  The  reading  of  the  Bible  will 
always  be  attended  with  great  spiritual  advantage,  if  it  is 
read  with  becoming  reverence,  humility,  and  pious  disposi 
tions.  It  is,  then,  false,  utterly  false,  to  say  that  the 
Catholic  Church  forbids  us  to  read  the  Bible.  We  are 
not  forbidden  to  read  the  Bible,  but  we  are  forbidden  to 
interpret  it  according  to  our  own  whim,  giving  the  word 
of  God  any  meaning  which  we  choose  to  give  it.  And, 

,12.  Why  doe^  the  Church  forbid  the  private  interpre 
tation,  of  the  Bible? 

Because  numberless  ^heresies  have  risen  from  the  private 
interpretation  of  the  Bible. 

From  the  time  of  the  apostles  to  the  present  day,  there 
have  risen  unlearned  men,  as  well  as  men  accomplished  in 
every  kind  of  learning,  who  undertook  to  interpret  the 
Bible  according  to  their  own  private  opinions.  The 
consequence  was,  that  the  ignorant  were  led  into  errors, 
for  want  of  knowledge,  and  the  learned,  through  pride 
and  self-sufficiency.  Instead  of  interpreting  Scripture 
according  to  the  teaching  of  the  Church,  and  learning  from 
her  what  they  should  believe,  they  have  tried  to  teach  the 
Church  false  and  perverse  doctrines  of  their  own.  They 
avail  themselves  of  the  Scriptures  to  prove  their  errors. 
They  say  that  they  have  the  Scriptures  on  their  side,  which 
are  the  fountain  of  truth.  But  these  deluded  men  do  not 
consider  that  the  truth  is  found,  not  by  reading,  but  by 
understanding,  the  holy  Scriptures.  This  arrogance  in 
interpreting  the  Bible  according  to  their  fa'ncy  proceeds 


from  pride.  But  God  resists  the  proud,  and  withholds 
from  them  the  light  of  faith.  In  punishment  for  their 
pride  and  want  of  submission  to  the  teaching  of  his 
Church,  he  permits  such  men  to  fall  into  all  kinds  of 
errors,  absurdities,  and  vices  ;  he  permits  the  holy  Scrip 
tures,  which  are  a  great  fountain  of  truth,  to  become  to 
them  a  great  fountain  of  errors.  So  that  to  them  may 
be  applied  the  words  of  our  divine  Saviour :  "  You  err, 
not  knowing  the  Scriptures  "  (Matt,  xxii,  29) ;  and  of  St. 
Peter  :  "  They  wrest  the  Scriptures  to  their  own  destru'c- 
tion."  (2  Pet.  iii,  16.) 

The  Adamites  pretended  to  find  in  the  book  of  Genesis 
that  they  were  as  pure  as  our  first  parents,  and  need  not 
be  ashamed  of  being  naked  any  more  than  Adam  and  Eve 
before  the  fall.  Arias  pretended  to  find,  in  forty-two 
passages  of  the  Bible,  that  the  Son  of  God  was  not  equal 
to  the  Father.  Macedonius  maintained  that  from  holy 
Scripture  he  could  prove  that  the  Holy  Ghost  was  not 
God ;  and  Pelagius  asserted,  on  the  authority  of  holy 
Scripture,  that  man  could  work  out  his  salvation  without 
the  grace  of  God.  Luther  asserted  that  he  found  in  Isaias 
that  man  was  not  free ;  and  Calvin  tried  to  prove  from 
Scripture  that  it  is  impossible  for  man  to  keep  the  com 
mandments.  There  is  no  error  so  monstrous,  no  crime  so 
heinous,  no  practice  so  detestable,  which  perverse  men  have 
not  endeavored  to  justify  by  some  passage  of  Scripture. 
St.  Augiistine  asks,  "  Whence  have  risen  heresies  and 
those  pernicious  errors  that  lead  men  to  everlasting  perdi 
tion  ?  "  and  he  answers :  "  They  have  risen  from  this  : 
that  men  understand  the  Scriptures  wrongly,  and  then 
maintain  presumptuously  and  boldly  what  they  thus  under 
stand  wrongly."  (In  Joan.  tr.  xviii.)  Thus,  "  the  Gospel," 


as  St.  Jerome  observes,  "  is,  for  them,  not  the  Gospel  of 
Christ  any  longer,  but  the  gospel  of  man,  or  of  the  oVvil : 
for  the  Gospel  consists,  not  in  the  words,  but  in  the  sense, 
of  Scripture,  wherefore,  by  false  interpretation,  the  Gospel 
of  Christ  becomes  the  gospel  of  man,  or,  of  the  devil.77 
"  My  thoughts,  saith  the  Lord,  are  not  as  your  thoughts, 
neither  are  your  ways  my  ways  j  for,  as  the  heavens  are 
exalted  aboVe  the  earth,  even  so  are  my  ways  exalted 
aboVe  your  ways,  and  my  thoughts  above  ^your  thoughts.'7 
(Isa.  1,  8,  9.)  Who,  then,  shall,  by  his  private  reason,  pre 
tend  to  know,  to  judge,  to  demonstrate,  to  interpret,  the 
unsearchable  ways  of  God,  and  the  incomprehensible,  divine 
mysteries  hidden  in  the  holy  Scripture  ?  "  How  can  I 
understand  it,  if  no  one  explains  it  to  me  ? 77  (Acts  viii.) 

To  sum  up  what  has  been  said  :  In  the  olrder  of  time, 
the  Catholic  Church  precedes  the  Scripture.  There  was 
no  time  when  a  visible  and  speaking  divine  authority  did 
not  exist,  to  which  submission  was  not  due.  Before  the 
coming  of  Je'sus  Christ,  that  authority  among  the  Jews  was 
in  the  synagogue.  When  the  synagogue  was  on  the  point 
of  failing,  Jesus  Christ  himself  appeared  ;  when  this  divine 
personage  withdrew,  he  left  his  authority  to  his  Church, 
and  with  her  his  Holy  Spirit.  All  the  truths  which  we 
believe  to  be  divine,  and  which  are  the  objects  of  our  faith, 
were  taught  by  the  Church,  and  believed  by  millions  of 
Christians,  long  before  they  were  committed  to  writing,  and 
formed  what  is  called  the  New  Testament.  And  those 
truths  would  have  remained  to  the  end  of  the  world,  pure 
and  unaltered,  had  that  primitive  state  continued  j  that  is, 
had  it  never  seemed  good  to  any  of  the  apostolic  men,  as 
it  did  to  St.  Luke,  to  commit  to  writing  what  they  had 
learned  from  Christ.  He  did  it;  he  says,  that  Theophilus, 


to  whom  he  writes,  might  know  the  verity  of  these  words  in 
which  he  had  been  instructed. 

A  Catholic,  therefore,  never  forms  his  faith  by  reading 
the  Scriptures,  his  faith  is  already  formed  before  he 
begins  to  read  ;  his  reading  serves  only  to  confirm  what  he 
always  believed  :  that  is,  it  confirms  the  doctrine  which  the 
Church  had  already  taught  him.  Consequently,  if  these 
books  had  not  existed,  the  belief  in  the  facts  and  truths  of 
Christianity  would  have  been  the  same ;  and  it  would  not 
be  weakened  if  those  books  were  no  longer  to  exist. 

As  the  Catholic  Church  made  known  to  the  Chris 
tians  those  facts  and  truths  long  before  they  were  recorded 
in  writing,  she  alone  could  afterward  rightly  decide,  and 
infallibly  state,  what  books  did,  and  what  did  not,  contain 
the  pure  doctrine  of  Christ  and  his  apostles ;  she  alone 
could  and  did  know  what  books  were,  and  what  were  not, 
divinely  inspired  j  she  alone  could  and  did  make  that 
inspiration  an  object  of  faith ;  she  alone  can,  with  infalli 
ble  authority,  give  the  true  meaning,  and  determine  the 
legitimate  use,  of  the  holy  Scriptures. 

Although  the  Scripture,  the  true  word  of  God,  is  not  to 
us  a  ride  of  faith,  taken  independently  of  the  teaching 
authority  of  the  pastors  of  the  Church,  the  successors  of 
the  apostles,  yet  it  is  not  inferior  to  the  Church  in  excel 
lence  and  dignity.  It  is  inspired,  holy,  and  divine.  Hence, 
it  is  the  custom  of  the  Church  to  erect  a  throne  in  the 
middle  of  councils,  on  which  she  places  the  sacred  books 
as  presiding  over  the  assembly,  occupying,  as  it  were, 
the  first  place,  and  deciding  with  supreme  authority.  When 
celebrating  Mass,  she  wishes  that  the  faithful,  during  the 
reading  of  the  Gospel,  should  all  rise,  and  remain  stand 
ing,  to  show  their  reverence  for  the  sacred  truths.  We 


venerate  the  Scriptures  as  a  sacred  deposit  bequeathed  to 
us  by  the  kindest  of  parents,  containing  truths  of  the 
highest  moment,  practical  lessons  of  saving  morality,  and 
facts  of  history  relating  to  the^life  of  our  divine  SaViour, 
and  the  conduct  of  his  disciples,  eminently  interesting 
and  instructive.  For  all  this  we  are  very  grateful. 

Besides,  the  Scriptures  come  forward  with  a  powerful 
aid,  to  support,  by  the  evidence  of  their  contents,  both  the 
divine  authority  of  the  Church,  and  the  divine  truths  of 
the  faith  which  we  have  received  from  her,  applying  that 
aid  to  each  article,  and  giving  a  lustre  to  the  whole  So 
Theo'philus,  when  he  read  that  admirable  narration  which 
St.  Luke  compiled  for  him,  was  more  and  more  confirmed 
in  the  verity  of  tilings  in  which  he  had  been  instructed. 
(St.  Luke  i,  1-4.) 

For  those,  however,  who  reject  the  divine  authority  of 
the  Church,  the  holy  Scriptures  can  no  longer  be  authentic 
and  inspired  writings — they  are  for  them  no  longer  the 
word  of  God  ;  for  they  have  no  one  who  can  tell  them,  with 
divine  certainty,  what  books  are,  and  what  are  not, 
divinely  inspired ;  they  have  no  one  who,  in  the  name  of  God, 
can  command  them  to  believe  in  the  divine  inspiration  of 
the  writers  of  those  books.  Explaining  them  as  they  do, 
according  to  their  fancy,  and  translating  them  in  a  way 
favorable  to  their  errors,  they  have,  in  the  Scriptures,  not 
the  Gospel  of  Christ,  but  that  of  man  or  the  devil,  calcu 
lated  only  to  confirm  the  ignorant  in  their  errors,  and  the 
learned  in  their  pride  and  self-sufficiency.  We  read,  in 
the  Gospel  of  St.  Matthew  and  of  St.  Luke,  that  Satan 
hid  himself  under  the  shade  of  the  Scripture  when  he 
tempted  our  divine  Saviour.  He  quoted  passages  from 
holy  Scripture,  in  order  to  tempt  him  to  ambition  and 


presumption.  But  he  is  answered :  "  Begone,  Satan  j  it 
is  written,  Thou  shalt  not  tempt  the  Lord  thy  God."  Satan, 
being  overcome,  left  for  a  time.  But  not  long  after,  under 
the  mask  of  Arius,  Nestorius,  Pelagius,  Luther,  Calvin, 
John  Knox,  Henry  VIII,  and  a  host  of  other  heresiarchs, 
he  renewed  his  attacks  on  Jesus  Christ,  in  the  person  of 
the  Catholic  Church.  This  demon  is  heresy,  which  hides 
itself  under  the  shade  of  Scripture.  Were  Satan  to  utter 
blasphemies,  he  would  be  known  at  once,  and  men  would 
flee  from  him  in  horror.  So  he  deceives  them  under 
the  appearance  of  good  j  he  repeats  passages  from  holy 
Scripture,  and  men  naturally  listen  to  him,  and  are  apt  to 
believe  and  follow  him.  But  the  good  Catholic  answers 
him  :  "  Begone,  Satan  !  It  is  written,  He  that  will  not 
hear  the  Church,  let  him  be  to  thee  as  the  heathen  and 
the  publican."  (Matt,  xviii,  16.)  This  is  the  great,  the 
infallible,  and  the  .only  rule  of  faith,  that  leads  to  him  who 
gave  it, — Jesus  Christ. 

The  heretics  and  Catholics  to  whom  St.  Dominic 
preached  the  Gospel,  put  together  in  writing  the  strongest 
arguments  in  defence  of  their  respective  doctrines.  The 
Catholic  arguments  were  the  work  of  St.  Dominic,  who 
confirmed  the  Catholic  doctrine,  by  many  passages  of  holy 
Scripture.  The  heretics,  too,  quoted  holy  Scripture  in 
confirmation  of  their  doctrine.  It  was  proposed  that  both 
writings  should  be  committed  to  the  flames,  in  order  that 
God  might  declare,  by  his  own  interposition,  which  cause 
he  favored.  Accordingly,  a  great  fire  was  made,  and  the 
two  writings  were  cast  into  it :  that  of  the  heretics  was 
immediately  consumed  to  ashes,  whilst  that  of  the  Cath 
olics  remained  unhurt,  after  it  had  been  cast  into  the  fire 
three  times,  and  taken  out  again. 


This  public  miracle  happened  at  Fanjaux  j  the  fruit  of 
it  was  the  conversion  of  a  great  number  of  heretics  of  both 
sexes.  The  same  kind  of  miracle  happened  at  Montreal. 
St.  Dominic  drew  up  in  writing  a  short  exposition  of  the 
Catholic  faith,  with  proof  of  each  article  from  the  New 
Testament.  This  writing  he  gave  to  the  heretics  to  exd!m- 
ine.  Their  ministers  and  chiefs,  after  much  altercation 
about  it,  agreed  to  throw  it  into  the  fire,  saying  that,  if  it 
burned,  they  would  regard  the  doctrine  which  it  contained 
as  false.  Being  cast  thrice  into  the  flames,  it  was  not 

Let  us  unceasingly  thank  Almighty  God  for  the  grace 
of  being  children  of  the  Catholic  Church.  St.  Francis  de 
Sales  exclaims  :  "  0  dear  Lord  I  many  and  great  are  the 
blessings  thou  hast  heaped  on  me,  and  I  thank  thee  for 
them.  But,  how  shall  I  be  ever  able  to  thank  thee  for 
enlightening  me  with  thy  holy  faith  ?  O  God  I  the  beauty 
of  thy  holy  faith  appears  to  me  so  enchanting,  that  I  am 
dying  with  love  of  it ;  and  I  imagine  I  ought  to  enshrine 
this  precious  gift  in  a  heart  all  perfumed  with  devotion.77 
St.  Teresa  never  ceased  to  thank  God  for  having  made 
her  a  daughter  of  the  holy  Catholic  Church.  Her  conso 
lation  at  the  hour  of  death  was  to  cry  out :  "  I  die  a  child 
of  the  holy  Church,  I  die  a  child  of  the  holy  Church." 




FOR  love  of  man,  God  created  the  boundless  universe, 
with  its  stars  and  countless  worlds,  and  he  made  the  uni 
verse,  the  temple  of  his  endless  love.  The  stars  of  heaven, 
as  they  sweep  along  in  silent  harmony,  are  ever  singing  a 
wondrous  song,  and  the  sweet  burden  of  their  song  is, 
"  God  is  love  and  truth.7' 

This  world  is  the  temple  of  God's  love  and  truth.  The 
green  earth,  with  its  flowers,  is  the  carpeted  floor.  The 
clear  sky  above  is  the  vaulted  dome  j  its  pillars  are  the 
mountains,  white  with  eternal  snow.  The  mists  and  vapor 
that  are  ever  ascending,  like  the  smoke  of  sacrifice,  remind 
us  of  the  thoughts  of  love  and  gratitude  that  should  ever  go 
up  to  heaven  from  our  hearts.  The  whispering  of  the 
winds,  the  rush  of  the  storm,  the  murmuring  of  the  brook, 
and  the  roar  of  the  cataract,  are  the  music  that  raises  our 
hearts  to  God.  And  when  God  had  finished  that  won 
drous  temple  of  his  love,  "  He  saw  that  it  was  good." 
(Gen.  i,  25.) 

*  Enough  has  been  said  to  show  that  God  teaches  mankind  through 
his  Church.  It  would  be  proper  now  to  explain  what  the  Church 
teaches,  beginning  with  the  explanation  of  the  Apostles'  Creed.  But 
as  many  may  wish  to  see  in  one  volume  the  whole  doctrine  on  the 
Church,  it  has  been  deemed  advisable  to  place,  in  this  volume,  the 
t  xplanation  of  the  Ninth  Article  of  the  Creed. 


For  love  of  man,  God  has  raised  a  still  more  wondrous 
temple, — the  temple  of  his  holy  Church.  Millions  and 
millions  of  chosen  souls  have  aided  in  building  this  wo'n- 
drous  temple.  Its  foundation  was  laid  at  the  gates  of 
paradise.  The  patriarchs  and  prophets  have  labored  at 
it,  through  the  long  ages  of  hope  and  expectation.  It  was 
completed,  in  the  fulness  of  time,  by  the  Only-Begotten  of 
the  Father,  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  This  temple  of  love 
was  consecrated  by  the  Holy  Ghost  on  that  wonderful  day 
of  love,  the  Feast  of  Pentecost.  The  summit  of  this 
glorious  temple  of  love  now  rises  to  the  highest  heavens, 
and  to  the  throne  of  the  living  God  himself.  In  its  depth, 
it  reaches  to  that  region  of  suffering  where  those  are 
detained  who  are  to  be  cleansed  from  all  stain,  before 
entering  into  the  joys  of  heaven.  In  its  width,  it  extends 
over  all  the  earth,  and  shuts  out  no  one  who  is  willing  to 
enter  its  portals.  In  this  new  creation,  far  more  than  in 
the  old,  God  looks  on  those  things  that  he  made,  and  sees 
that  they  are  "  very  good"  What  God  does,  is  done  well — 
is  a  perfect  work.  The  establishment  of  the  Catholic 
Church  is  the  grand  work  of  his  power  ;  it  is  the  greatest 
fact  in  history, — a  fact  so  great,  that  there  would  be  no 
history  without  it ;  a  fact  permanent,  entering  into  the 
concerns  of  all  nations  on  the  face  of  the  earth,  appearing 
again  and  again  on  the  records  of  time,  and  benefiting, 
perceived  or  unperceived,  directly  or  indirectly,  socially, 
morally,  and  supernaturally,  every  member  of  the  human 

From  the  beginning  of  the  world  God  always  had  but 
one  Church  to  teach  his  religion  toymen,  and  lead  them  to 
heaven ;  Satan,  too,  from  the  beginning,  has  tried  to  have 
a  church  and  a  worship  of  his  own.  He  found  followers 


among  the  angels  to  refuse  submission  to  God's  holy  will. 
Need  we  wonder  at  seeing  him  find  followers  among  men  I 
As  the  faithful  servants  of  God  are  known  and  distin 
guished  by  their  ready  obedience  to  the  divine  authority 
of  the  Catholic  Church,  so  those  who  are  deceived  by 
Satan  are  known  by  their  want  of  submission  to  the 
divine  authority  of  the  Church.  They  form  churches  of 
their  own,  in  opposition  to  the  true  Church  of  God.  In 
the  ninth  century,  the  Greeks  separated  from  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  and  formed  a  church  of  their  own,  called 
the  Greek  Church.  In  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth 
ce'ntury,  Martin  Luther,  an  apostate  friar,  preached  a 
doctrine  of  his  own  ;  he  gained  many  followers  in  Ger 
many,  who  left  the  Catholic  Church,  and  formed  what  is 
called  and  known  as  the  Lutheran,  or  Protestant,  Church. 
In  1531,  Henry  VIII,  King  of  England,  fell  away  from 
the  Catholic  Church,  and  made  himself  the  supreme  head 
of  the  English,  or  Anglican,  Church.  These,  and  other 
churches,  are  the  work  of  man.  No  doubt,  every  one  who 
is  acquainted  with  the  life  of  our  Lord  and  is  asked  : 

1.  How  many  churches  did  Christ  establish  ? 

Will  answer :   Christ  established  but  one  cliurcli. 

Indeed,  as  there  is  but  one  Christ,  so  there  is,  and  can 
be,  but  one  Church  of  Christ.  The  Church  is  called  the 
body  of  Christ.  Now,  as  Christ  has  but  one  body,  so  he 
can  have  but  one  Church.  Christ  himself  tells  us  plainly 
that  he  established  but  one  Church.  He  did  not  say  to 
St.  PeW,  Upbn  thee  I  will  build  my  churches :  he  said, 
"  Upon  thee  I  will  build  my  Church."  He  never  said, 
The  gates  of  hell  shall  not  prevail  against  my  churches  j 
he  said,  u  The  gates  of  hell  shall  not  prevail  against  my 
Church."  In  fact;  that  our  Lord  established  but  one 


Church,  is  self-evident ;  it  needs  no  proof.  We  are  as 
certain  of  it  as  we  are  that  there  is  but  one  God.  St. 
Paul  asserts  this  in  the  clearest  terms  :  "  One  Lord,  one 
faith,  one  baptism ;  "  that  is,  as  there  is,  and  can  be,  but 
one  Lord,  so  there  is,  and  can  be,  but  one  faith,  one 
religion,  one  Church.  And  as  our  Lord  established  but 
one  Church,  it  follows,  necessarily,  that  all  other  churches 
are  not  the  work  of  Jesus  Christ.  They  are  the  work  of 
man  ;  the  Church  of  Christ,  the  Catholic  Church,  alone  is 
the  work  of  God. 

All  the  works  of  God  have  something  divine  and 
supernatural  about  them, — something  that  at  once  proclaims 
their  divine  origin ;  something  that  distinguishes  them,  in 
an  unmistakable  manner,  from  the  works  of  man.  As  the 
Catholic  Church  is  the  work  of  God,  she  has  something 
about  her  to  show  that  she  is  from  God  j  she  has  marks 
graven  on  her  which  make  it  impossible  for  one  to  be  mis 
taken  about  her  being  the  true  Church  of  Christ  5  she  has 
the  most  incontestable  proofs  of  her  divine  mission  and 
authority,  to  convince  all  who  wish  to  be  convinced. 

2.  By  what  marks  is  the  Church  of  Christ  easily  known  ? 
By  these  four :    The   Church  of  Christ  is:   1,   one;   2, 
she  is  holy  ;  3,  she  is  Catholic  ;  and,  4,  she  is  apostolic, 

Above  all,  perfect  unity  must  be  found  in  the  Church 
of  Christ ;  for  Christ  calls  his  Church  a  "  building,"  a 
"kingdom,"  a  "city,"  a  "flock,"  a  "house,"  a  "  b6dy." 
In  order  to  establish,  insure,  and  preserve  unity,  he  made 
St.  Peter  the  foundation  of  the  building,  the  chief  ruler 
of  the  kingdom,  the  key-holder  of  the  city  and  house,  the 
principal  shepherd  of  the  flock,  the  head  of  the  body. 
And  on  the  eve  of  his  passion,  Christ  asked  for  a  unity  in 
Lis  Church,  like  that  which  unites  the  three  divine  persons 


in  one  and  the  same  nature :  "  Father,"  he  prayed,  "  keep 
them  whom  thou  hast  given  me,  that  they  may  be  one, 
even  as  we  are  one."  (John  xvii,  11.)  Moreover,  he 
prayed  that  this  union  might  last  forever,  and  that  it 
should  be  the  distinctive  mark  of  his  Church :  "  I  pray, 
also,"  he  says,  "for  all  those  who,  through  their  word,  shall 
believe  in  me,  that  they  may  all  be  one,  as  thou,  Father,  in 
me,  arid  I  in  thee,  that  the  world  may  believe  that  thou 
hast  sent  me."  (John  xx,  21.)  The  ap6stles  express  very 
clearly  the  necessity  of  unity,  and  show  that  it  is  a 
distinctive  mark  of  the  true  Church :  "Be  careful," 
says  St.  Paul,  "to  keep  the  unity  of  the  spirit  in  the 
bond  of  peace.  One  body  and  one  spirit,  one  Lord,  one 
faith,  one  baptism." 

tfnity,  then,  is  a  distinctive  mark,  and  an  essential  condi 
tion  of  the  Church  of  Christ.  That  Church  which  has  no 
unity,  caWot  be  the  true  Church  \  and  that  Church  which 
has  unity,  must  certainly  be  divine. 

In  the  Church  of  Christ  holiness  also  must  be  found,  no 
less  than  unity.  Christ  shed  his  blood  for  no  other  purpose 
than  to  form  for  himself,  says  St.  Paul,  a  pure  Church, 
"without  spot  or  wrinkle,  or  any  such  thing;  that  it 
should  be  holy  and  without  blemish."  (Eph.  v,  25.) 
Moreover,  as  the  Church  of  Christ  teaches  the  true  faith, 
holiness  must  be  the  result  of  this  faith,  since  Christ  says : 
"  A  good  tree  cannot  bring  forth  evil  fruit."  (Matt.  vii,18.) 
According  to  Christ's  promise,  miracles  will  be  performed 
by  the  true  believers  of  his  Church,  and  bear  "  witness  to 
her  holiness."  (Mark  xvi,  17.) 

The  Church,  however,  is  not  composed  of  the  elect 
alone,  for  Christ  compares  her  to  a  net  which  draws  out  of 
the  sea  "good  and  bad  fish"  (Matt,  xiii,  47);  to  a,  field 


where  the  cockle  grows  together  with  the  wheat,  until  the 
day  of  the  harvest.  (Matt,  xiii,  30.) 

Again,  during  his  public  life,  Christ  declared  repeatedly 
that  his  unalterable  purpose  was  to  unite,  in  one  religious 
society,  all  mankind,  of  every  age  and  clime,  and  afford 
his  followers  the  means  to  free  themselves  from  sin,  and 
become  reconciled  to  God  ;  to  grow  in  purity  and  holiness 
of  life,  and  thus  enter  into  life  everlasting.  He  spoke 
always  and  everywhere,  in  language  most  clear  and  ex 
plicit,  of  this  note  of  universality,  as  one  peculiar  to  his 
kingdom.  (John  x,  16;  Matt,  xxviii,  19.)  All  the  pro 
phecies  relative  to  the  Messiah  spoke  of  the  whole  human 
race  as  the  flock  of  Christ,  whose  kingdom  was  to  extend  its 
bounds  "  till  it  embraced  all  pagan  nations."  (Matt,  xv,  24  ; 
Ps.  cix,  2.)  Christ's  Church,  therefore,  must  be  Catholic, 
or  universal. 

Finally,  Christ  has  most  solemnly  promised  to  be  with 
his  apostles  to  the  end  of  the  world,  and  he  has  made 
St.  Peter  the  first  Bishop  of  Rome,  the  foundation  of  the 
Church,  and  her  supreme  head.  Christ's  Church,  theVe- 
fore,  must  be  apostolic.  Holy  Scripture  itself  gives  us 
this  full  information  about  the  marks  of  the  true  Church 
of  Christ.  And  if  it  is  asked : 

3.  Which  Church  is  one,  holy,  Catholic  and  apostolic  I 

The  answer  is:  The  Roman  Catholic  Church  aUne  is 
one,  holy,  Catholic,  and  apostolic. 

It  is  easy  to 

4.  Show  how  the  Catholic  Church  is  one. 

The  Catholic  Church  is  one,  because  all  her  members  are 
united  :  1,  in  one  faith  ;  2,  in  one  worship  ;  3,  under  one 
infallible  head. 

CREED.  157 

1.  The  Catholic  Church  is  one,  because  all  her  members 
are  united  in  one  faith. 

Unity  is  especially  divine.  It  exists  in  its  perfection 
only  in  the  adorable  Trinity.  Wherever  we  find  unity  in 
created  things,  we  may  be  sure  that  it  is  an  image  and 
reflection  of  God.  Now,  in  this  world,  there  is  one  society, 
and  only  one,  in  which  unity  has  always  existed,  and  has 
neVer  been  broken.  This  society  is  the  Catholic  Church. 
This  society  is  the  most  numerous,  the  first,  and  the  most 
ancient  of  all  the  communities  that  call  themselves  Chris 
tian.  The  Catholic  Church  is  found  in  all  kingdoms  and 
states  5  it  reaches  from  pole  to  pole,  from  east  to  west ; 
embraces  all  ranks  and  classes  of  men.  The  members  of 
the  Catholic  Church  differ  from  one  another  in  their 
character,  in  their  education,  in  their  modes  of  thought  ~ 
they  differ  in  their  language,  in  their  habits  of  life,  iu 
their  sympathies  and  prejudices;  in  a  word,  they  diffe/ 
from  one  another  in  everything  that  distinguishes  ma.a 
from  man.  But  in  one  thing  they  are  all  united  :  in  relig 
ion.  In  religion,  alone,  they  are  all  of  one  mind  and  ox^e 
heart.  In  this  wonderful  society  you  will  find  t'le 
passionate  Italian,  with  his  glowing  imagination  ;  you  v  ill 
find,  also,  the  stolid  and  tenacious  Englishman ;  the  lively 
and  brilliant  Frenchman ;  and  the  quiet,  thoughtful  German. 
You  will  find  there  the  stately  Spaniard ;  the  witty,  impul 
sive  Irishman,  and  the  acute  and  practical  American.  All 
these,  and  so  many  other  races,  though  they  contiast 
violently  with  one  another  in  every  natural  gift  and 
habit ;  though  they  retain  all  their  distinctive  peculiarities 
as  men  and  citizens,  yet  in  religion  they  are  all  one — abso 
lutely  one.  Throughout  the  whole  Catholic  world,  the 
myriads  of  every  nation,  climate,  and  language,  nobles 


and  peasants,  monarchs  and  slaves,  philosophers  and  little 
children,  there  exists  a  unity  of  faith  and  doctrine,  so 
divine  and  absolute,  so  spontaneous  and  yet  so  perfect,  so 
unshackled  and  yet  so  complete,  that  a  cardinal  in  Rome 
or  a  neophyte  in  China,  a  mathematician  in  Holland  or  a 
wood-cutter  in  Syria,  or  a  little  child  anywhere,  would  give, 
in  substance,  the  same  answer  to  any  question  updn  a'ny 
doctrine  of  the  Church. 

2.  When  their  children  are  born,  all  bring  them  to  be 
regenerated  in  the  same  waters  of  baptism.  When  they 
become  unfaithful  to  their  baptismal  vows,  and  sin  against 
God's  commandments,  they  all  have  recourse  to  the  same 
tribunal  of  penance.  They  all  seek  strength  at  the  same 
eucharistic  table,  and,  animated  by  the  same  faith,  they 
receive  truly  the  body  and  blood  of  Jesus  Christ.  In 
sickness,  when  they  are  about  to  appear  before  their  God, 
they  all  send  for  the  priest  of  the  Church,  and  receive 
the  sacrament  of  Extreme  Unction.  They  all  are  one, 
not  only  in  faith,  but  also  in  worship. 

And  what  more  natural  than  this  oneness  in  worship  f 
Christ,  who  taught  us  our  religion,  has  also  taught  us  how 
to  worship  his  heavenly  Father  in  a  manner  worthy  of  his 
divine  majesty.  He  instituted  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the 
Mass,  iii  which  he  is  at  once  the  High-Priest  and  the  Victim* 
Through  the  hands  of  his  priests  he  offers  himself  for  us 
to  his  heavenly  Father  as  a  sacrifice  of  adoration,  of 
thanksgiving,  of  atonement,  and  of  impetration.  Since 
the  institution  of  the  Mass,  paradise  blooms  again,  the 
heavens  are  purple,  the  angels  shine  in  white,  and  men 
are  exhilarated.  This  sublime  and  profound  mystery, 
which  scandalizes  obstinate  unbelievers,  and  arouses  the 
pride  of  Protestants,  is;  neVertheless,  that  which  renews 


the  face  of  the  earth,  satisfies  the  justice  of  God.  redeems 
man  unto  salvation,  opens  heaven,  sanctifies  the  world, 
and  disarms  hell.  It  is  this  mfstery^  which  has  engen 
dered  a  more  holy  religion,  a  more  spiritual  worship,  and 
a  purer  virtue  among  men,  because  it  is  more  interior  j 
from  it  spring  the  most  efficacious  sacrament,  more 
abundant  graces,  more  sublime  ceremonies,  more  perfect 
laws ;  it  is  that  tender  adoption  of  men,  as  children  of 
God,  substituted  for  the  more  ancient  alliance  between 
God  and  man,  which  was  founded  upon  fear.  This  mystery 
is  the  striking  manifestation  of  all  truths,  and  the  censure 
of  all  errors :  all  vices  find  their  condemnation  therein, 
all  virtues  their  principle,  all  merits  their  recompense ;  it 
is,  in  short,  the  foundation  of  faith,  the  support  of  hope, 
and  the  most  powerful  motive  for  the  love  of  God. 

The  holy  Mass  is  the  sun  of  Christianity,  and  the  sum 
mary  of  all  that  is  grand,  and  magnificent,  and  most  pro 
digious,  both  in  the  triumphant  and  in  the  militant  Church 
of  God.  The  angels  almost  envy  us  this  divine  sacrifice. 
Protestants  and  infidels  may  say,  with  a  sneer,  that  it  is 
the  pomp  and  glitter  of  our  ceremonies  and  altars  that 
draw  the  faithful  to  the  church.  Not  so.  The  fickle  nature 
of  man  cannot  be  charmed  long  by  such  transitory  things. 
Our  altars,  indeed,  we  adorn,  we  decorate  our  churches, 
we  embellish  the  priestly  vestments,  we  display  the  g6r- 
geous  ceremonies  of  the  Church,  but  not  to  attract  the 
people  ;  we  do  all  this  simply  because  our  Lord  Je^us  Christ 
is  present  there,  our  Saviour  and  our  God,  surrounded 
by  countless  myriads  of  angels.  This  is  the  grand  source 
of  the  magnificence  of  our  architecture,  the  gorgeousness 
of  our  vestments,  the  diversity  of  our  Ornaments,  the 
sound  of  our  organs,  the  religious  harmony  of  our  voices, 


and  the  grandeur  and  order  of  all  our  ceremonies,  both  in 
the  consecration  and  dedication  of  our  churches,  and  the 
solemn  celebration  of  the  Mass. 

This  is  the  reason  why  we  adorn  ourselves  with  our 
.  gayest  attire,  why  we  rifle  the  gardens  of  their  sweetest 
and  choicest  flowers  to  decorate  our  altars,  and  scatter  them 
in  lavish  profusion  before  the  feet  of  our  sacramental  King. 
This  is  the  reason  why  our  sacred  altars  glitter  and  sparkle 
with  cheerful  lights,  while  clouds  of  sweet-smelling  incense 
float  up  and  around  the  sacred  Victim. 

It  is  related  of  Frederick  II,  King  of  Prussia,  that,  after 
having  assisted  at  a  solemn  high  Mass,  celebrated  in  the 
church  of  Breslau  by  Cardinal  Tringendorf,  he  remarked : 
"  The  Calvinists  treat  God  as  an  inferior,  the  Lutherans 
treat  him  as  an  equal,  but  the  Catholics  treat  him  as  God." 
Yes,  indeed ;  it  is  only  the  Catholic  Church  that  is  the  home 
for  our  dear  Saviour.  His  presence  fills  her  halls  to  over 
flowing  with  joy  and  gladness.  Her  propitiatory  altars  are 
the  anchors  of  hope  for  the  sinner  j  her  sanctuaries,  the 
antechambers  of  heaven.  Take  away  the  blessed  sacra 
ment,  and  you  take  away  her  Saviour.  Give  her  the  blessed 
sacrament,  and  you  give  her  a  glory,  an  honor,  a  triumph, 
the  greatest  possible  this  side  of  paradise.  Her  altars  are 
the  altars  of  joy,  because  they  are  the  altars  of  the  saving 
Victim  for  the  sins  of  the  world ;  for  which  reason  the  robed 
priest  begins  the  tremendous  sacrifice  with  the  antiphon : 
"I  will  go  unto  the  altar  of  God,  to  God  who  rejoiceth  my 

This  sacrifice  of  adoration,  of  thanksgiving,  of  atone 
ment,  and  of  impetration,  is  offered  up  daily,  nay,  hourly, 
all  over  the  world.  To  it  come  the  simple  peasant  from 
his  woods;  the  shepherd  from  the  mountains;  the  man  of 


business,  the  solemn  religious,  the  devout  student,  the 
holy  recluse,  the  laboring  youth,  the  innocent  child,  with 
its  baptismal  robe  unsullied,  the  penitent  sinner  who  has 
atoned,  or  who  is  atoning,  for  having  stained  the  purity  of 
his  soul :  all,  all  draw  grace  and  strength,  and  consola 
tion  and  virtue,  from  this  ever-flowing  fountain  of  spiritual 
riches,  in  proportion  to  the  measure  of  their  faith,  confi 
dence,  fervor,  and  devotion.  To  this  fountain  of  healing 
water  the  poor  walk  free  and  favored,  as  in  presence  of 
nature  f  they  can  approach  it  as  nearly  as  kings,  and  can 
enjoy  equally  the  splendor  and  loveliness  of  the  altar  of  God. 
Here  ends  the  land  of  malediction.  Here  God  is  before 
all,  and  all  are  before  God ;  his  children,  his  creatures — 
nothing  more,  nothing  less — all  alike  in  this.  No  one 
marshals  you,  no  one  heeds  you ;  here  you  may  kneel  and 
weep  in  secret,  or  lie  prostrate  before  the  Good  Shepherd 
and  the  Lamb  of  God,  in  the  blessed  sacrament ;  here 
each  sun  that  rises  will  find  you  more  consoled,  with 
healthier  looks,  less  pale  ;  here  the  workings  of  an  uneasy 
conscience  are  soothed  and  made  straight  j  or  rather,  here 
it  is  that  you  find  time  and  opportunity  for  reconciliation 
with  God. 

Here  the  poor  sinner  is  assisted  to  enter  upon  the  way 
of  salvation  j  here  he  is  supplied  with  that  living  water, 
of  which  those  who  drink  shall  never  more  feel  thirst ; 
here  we  find  the  female  sex,  gifted  with  great  faith  and 
ardent  devotion,  turning  their  hearts  to  the  Catholic  altar, 
whether  in  joy  or  sorrow,  in  sickness  or  in  health,  like 
the  innocent  child,  who  always  runs  thither  for  help  where 
he  trusts  most ;  here  the  poor  pilgrim,  wearied  with 
fatigue,  kneels  down  on  the  altar-steps,  to  thank  Him  who 
has  watched  over  him  during  a  long  and  perilous  journey; 


here  a  distracted  mother  comes  into  the  temple  to  pray 
for  the  recovery  of  her  son,  whom  the  physicians  have 
given  over ;  here  God  is  our  Father,  the  angels  and  saints 
our  friends. 

O  how  glorious,  how  sublime,  is  the  worship  of  the 
Catholic  Church,  as  she  celebrates  daily,  hourly,  the  tri 
umphal  march  of  the  Prince  of  Peace  around  the  world 
which  he  has  redeemed !  Hour  after  hour,  in  all  parts 
of  the  world,  the  solemn  anthems  of  Catholic  worship  roll 
heavenward,  like  "  the  noise  of  many  waters."  Mirrate 
after  minute,  hour  after  hour,  day  after  day,  month  aYter 
month,  year  after  year,  and  century  after  century,  the 
glorious  anthems  of  the  Catholic  Church  have  rolled  on 
unbroken  through  the  long  lapse  of  eighteen  hundred 
changeful,  fleeting  years.  The  unnumbered  voices  of 
every  age,  and  sex,  and  rank,  which  have  sounded  from 
that  hour  when  the  angelic  harmonies  charmed  the  midnight 
air  of  Bethlehem,  even  to  this  very  moment, — all  seem 
borne  to  our  ears  in  one  overpowering  flood  of  sweetest, 
heavenliest  harmony. 

3.  Tfye  Catholic  Church  is  one,  because  all  her  members 
are  united  under  one  infallible  head. 

Yes  j  more  than  two  hundred  millions  of  Christians 
venerate  and  obey  the  Holy  Father,  Pope  Pius  IX,  as  the 
successor  of  St.  Peter,  the  supreme,  earthly  chief  of  the 
immortal  Church  of  Jesus  Christ ;  the  father  of  souls ;  the 
guide  of  consciences  ;  the  sovereign  judge  of  the  religious 
interests  of  humanity  ;  the  head  of  Catholic  Christendom  ; 
the  mouth  of  Christ's  Church,  ever  living  and  Open  to  teach 
the  universe ;  the  centre  of  Christian  faith  and  unity  j 
the  light  of  truth,  kindled  to  illuminate  the  world;  the 
adamantine  base  of  a  divine  edifice,  which  the  powers 

CREED.  163 

of  darknes.3  can  never  shake  ;  the  corner-stone  upon  which 
the  city  of  God  here  below  reposes  j  the  prince  of  priests, 
the  father  of  fathers,  the  heir  of  apostles  j  a  greater 
patriarch  than  Abraham,  greater  than  Melchisedech  in 
priesthood,  than  Moses  in  authority,  than  Samuel  in  juris 
diction  ;  in  a  word,  Peter  in  power,  Christ  by  unction, 
pastor  of  pastors,  guide  of  guides,  the  cardinal  joint  of 
all  the  churches,  the  keystone  of  the  Catholic  arch,  the 
impregnable  citadel  of  the  communion  of  the  children  of 
God.  Were  the  holy  Pontiff,  Pius  IX,  permitted  to  go 
abroad  amid  his  children,  every  knee  would  bend  before 
him,  in  token  of  cheerful  obedience  j  every  voice  would 
salute  him,  in  proof  of  the  deepest  veneration,  and  every 
tongue  would  bless  him  with  untold  affection ;  head  and 
body,  ruler  and  subjects,  the  shepherd  and  the  flock,  the 
Sovereign  Pontiff  and  the  people,  would  be  seen  to  be  one 
heart  and  one  soul.  All  Catholics  live  in  the  heart  of  the 
Father  of  the  Faithful  j  and  he  lives  in  the  hearts  of  all 
Catholics,  the  Holy  Ghost,  the  Spirit  of  truth,  abiding  with 
them,  and  uniting  them  all  in  one  faith,  in  one  worship, 
and  under  one  head :  u  Therefore,"  says  St.  Jerome,  u  was 
one  of  the  twelve  set  over  all  the  others  as  the  recognized 
head,  in  order  that  all  occasion  of  schism  might  be 
removed."  (Opp.  T.  ii,  p.  279.) 

This  miracle  of  unity  of  human  minds  and  hearts  in  all 
things  has  been  perpetuated,  from  age  to  age,  in  a  world 
where  everything  else  is  changing,  and  is  perpetuated 
silently  and  peacefully,  without  effort  and  without  con 
straint.  So  irresistible  is  the  mysterious  power  that  thus 
joins  together  so  many  human  hearts,  that  even  the  convert 
of  yesterday,  whether  he  lives  in  the  very  centre  of  Euro 
pean  civilization,  or  amid  the  savage  tribes  of  Africa,  feels 


already  the  sweet  spell  upon  him,  and  finds  his  heart  beiting 
in  unison  with  the  great  heart  of  the  Church,  as  if  he  had 
been  suckled  at  her  breast,  and  had  lain  in  her  bosom  from 

In  the  whole  history  of  the  human  race  there  is  no 
record  of  any  such  miracle  as  this.  Even  were  all  the 
dead  to  rise  from  their  graves,  and  to  crowd  our  streets  and 
thoroughfares,  it  would  not  be  a  greater  miracle.  Like 
the  Jews  of  old,  the  men  of  the  present  generation  "desire 
a  sign,"  in  order  that  they  may  believe ;  and  now  here  is 
a  sign,  a  standing  miracle,  more  luminous,  more  dazzling, 
than  the  noonday  sun.  "  Truly  the  finger  of  God  is  here.'7 

One  day  a  certain  Protestant  of  Pennsylvania  came  to 
Archbishop  Kenrick,  of  Baltimore,  to  tell  him  that  he 
wished  to  become  a  Catholic.  "  What  induced  you,"  asked 
the  archbishop,  "  to  take  this  step  ?"  "  The  bugs,  the 
bugs  !"  he  replied.  "  What  do  you  mean  by  that  ?"  "I  have 
often  noticed,"  said  he,  u  how  in  nature  animals  follow 
their  leader,  and  are  kept  united  together  by  him.  The 
same  must  be  true  in  religion :  only  that  one  can  be  of 
divine  origin  which  has  a  leader  whom  all  are  bound  to 
follow.  As  I  find  this  only  in  the  Catholic  Church,  I  feel 
convinced  that  she  is  the  true  Church,  in  which  alone  I  can 
be  saved."  If  St.  Paul  could  say  to  the  heathens,  "  You 
might  have  found  out  the  true  God  by  his  works,  if  you 
had  cared  to  do  so,"  surely  God  may  say,  in  the  great  day, 
to  the  children  out  of  the  Catholic  Church  :  a  You  might 
have  known  the  true  Church  by  her  unity,  if  you  had 
not  closed  your  eyes." 

The  next  mark  by  which  Christ  wished  his  Church  to 
be  distinguished  is  that  of  holiness.  But,  in  speaking  of 
the  holiness  of  the  Catholic  Church,  we  do  not  mean  to  »ay 

CREED.  165 

that  every  member  of  the  Church  is  holy.  The  field  of 
the  Church  is  wide,  and  has  weeds  as  well  as  wheat.  In 
the  very  company  chosen  by  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  him 
self,  there  was  a  Peter  who  denied  him,  and  a  Judas  who 
betrayed  him.  So  it  is  at  the  present  day,  So  it  will  be 
to  the  end  of  time.  Should,  then,  any  one  ask  : 

5,  Show  how  the  Catholic  Church  is  holy  ? 

We  answer  :  The  Catholic  Church  is  holy  :  1.  in  Jesus 
Christ,  her  Founder  ;  2,  in  her  doctrine,  which  is  Christ's 
doctrine;  3,  in  her  means  of  grace,  the  proper  use  of  which 
makes  us  h6lyt;  4,  in  many  of  her  members,  whose  holiness 
has  been  confirmed  ~by  miracles  and  extraordinary  gifts. 

1.  The  Catholic  Church  is  holy  in  her  Founder,  who  is 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God.     But  what  mind 
of  man  or  angel  can  conceive  the  greatness  of  the  holiness 
of  Jesus  Christ,  which  is,  indeed,  infinite  ?     To  say  that  his 
h61iness  is  greater  than  that  of  all  the  saints  and  angels 
united,  is  to  fall  infinitely  below  it.     Jesus  Christ,  as  God, 
is  infinite  holiness  itself,  and  the  sum  of  our  conception  of 
holiness  is  but  the  smallest  atom  of  the  holiness  of  God. 
David,  contemplating  the  divine  holiness,  and  seeing  that 
he  could  not,  and  never  would,  be  able  to  comprehend  it, 
could  cmly  exclaim  :   "  0  Lord  !  who  is  like  unto  thee  f  r 
(Ps.  xxxiv,  10.)    0  Lord!  what  holiness  shall  ever  be  found 
like  to  thine  ?     It  is  an  utter  impossibility  for  any  human 
or  angelic  understanding  to  conceive  an  adequate  idea  of 
the  holiness  of  Christ.     All  we  can  say  is,  that  his  holiness 
is  infinite.     The  Catholic  Church,  then,  is  holy  in   her 
divine  Founder. 

2.  The  Catholic  Church  is  also  holy  in  her  doctrine,  which 
is  the  doctrine  of  Christ  and  his  holy  apostles,  and  his  doc 
trine  is  the  expression  of  the  will  of  his  heavenly  Father : 


"  My  doctrine  is  not  mine,  but  of  him  that  sent  me."  (John 
vii,  16.)  As  the  will  of  God  is  most  holy,  so  'also  the  doyc- 
trine  expressing  the  holy  will  of  God  must  be  most  holy. 
Hence,  the  book  containing  the  word  of  God  is  called 
the  holy  Bible,  or  holy  Scripture.  Every  action  and  every 
word  of  our  Saviour  breathes  holiness,  inspires  holiness, 
and  leads  to  holiness.  Therefore  he  calls  those  blessed  who 
learn  his  doctrine :  "  Blessed  are  your  ears,  because  they 
hear.  For,  fwnen  I  say  to  you,  many  prophets  and  just 
men  have  desired  to  hear  the  things  that  you  hear,  and 
have  not  heard  them.'7  (Matt,  xiii,  16.)  Hence,  all  those 
who  live  up  to  this  doctrine  are  called  saints  :  "  You  are 
a  chosen  generatio'n — a  holy  nation/7  says  St.  Peter  of 
the  Christians.  (1  Pet.  ii,  9.) 

The  very  enemies  of  the  Catholic  Church  bear  witness 
to  the  holiness  of  her  doctrine.  Why  have  so  many  fallen 
away  from  her  faith  ?  It  is  because  they  had  not  courage 
enough  to  live  up  to  her  holy  precepts.  Why  is  it  that  so 
many  do  not  embrace  the  Catholic  faith  who  know  that 
the  Catholic  Church  is  the  only  true  Church  of  Christ? 
It  is  because  they  are  afraid  of  her  holy  morals.  Even 
the  most  wicked  feel  naturally  convinced  that  the  Catholic 
religion  is  holy  :  a  fault  in  a  Catholic  is  considered, — and 
considered  rightly, — more  grave  than  in  one  who  is  not 
a  Catholic. 

3.  The  Church  is  holy  in  her  means  of  grace.  It  is  her 
office  to  make  men  holy.  She  holds  out  to  her  children 
not  only  the  holy  example  and  doctrine  of  her  divine 
Founder  as  the  pathway  to  holiness,  she  also  offers  to 
them  the  means  of  grace,  which  enable  them  to  live  up 
to  her  holy  doctrine.  By  his  divine  example  and  holy 
doctrine  Christ  showed  us  the  narrow  road  that  leads  to 


heaven.  But  what  would  it  avail  us  to  know  the  road 
to  heaven,  if  we  had  no  strength  to  walk  on  that  strait, 
and,  to  fallen  humanity,  hard  road  1  This  strength  we  have 
not  of  ourselves.  God  is  the  greatest  supernatural  good. 
We  can,  then,  acquire  this  good  only  by  supernatural 
strength,  that  is,  by  the  help  of  Almighty  God.  By  his 
sufferings  and  death,  Christ  obtained  for  us  all  the  graces 
necessary  to  live  up  to  his  holv  doctrine,  to  overcome  all 
the  evil  inclinations  of  fallen  nature,  all  the  temptations,  all 
the  trials  and  struggles  of  life.  These  graces  he  wished 
to  be  applied  to  our  souls  by  means  of  the  sacraments 
and  prayer,  and  he  appointed  his  Church  to  sanctify  her 
children  by  these  means  of  grace. 

The  child  is  born  in  sin  ;  the  Church  cleanses  it  in 
baptism,  and  makes  it  a  child  of  God.  The  child  is  weak  ; 
the  Church  strengthens  it  in  confirmation,  makes  it  a 
brave  soldier,  to  battle  with  the  world,  the  flesh,  and  the 
devil.  The  child  is  wounded,  falls  into  sin ;  the  Church, 
like  the  good  physician,  probes  the  wounds,  and  pours  into 
the  bleeding  heart  the  oil  and  wine  of  hope  and  consolation, 
in  the  sacrament  of  penance.  The  child  is  hungry  and 
weary  ;  the  Church  feeds  it  with  heavenly  food,  nour 
ishes  and  refreshes  it  with  the  precious  body  and  blood  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  The  heart  of  the  young  man  feels 
the  fire  of  that  love  which  first  came  from  God,  and  which 
has  become  unholy  only  by  abuse  j  and  the  Church,  like  a 
fond  mother,  sanctifies  and  preserves  this  natural  love  of 
the  bridegroom  and  the  bride.  In  the  holy  sacrament  of 
marriage  she  blesses  this  love  before  the  altar  of  God,  and 
declares  its  bonds  perpetual.  And  should  the  heart  of 
the  young  man  aspire  to  a  higher  and  holier  destiny ; 
should  he  desire,  in  his  inmost  soul,  to  soar  high  above  the 


weakening  tenderness  of  mere  human  lovej  should  he 
desire  to  become  the  saviour  of  his  fellow-men,  the  codper- 
ator  with  God  himself  in  the  great  work  of  redemption, 
the  holy  Church  leads  him  by  the  hand,  she  "  blesses, 
sanctifies,  and  consecrates  "  him  before  the  altar  of  God  ; 
she  makes  him  a  priest  forever,  a  priest  of  the  Most 
High  God. 

At  last,  when  her  child  is  dying,  the  holy  Catholic 
Church  comes  to  his  bedside  with  sanctifying  oil  and  the 
prayer  of  faith ;  she  administers  to  him  the  sacrament  of 
Extreme  Unction,  to  strengthen  and  console  him  in  his 
fearful  death-struggle.  But  her  love  does  not  end  at  the 
bed  of  death.  She  opens  wide  the  doors  of  her  temple ; 
she  offers  an  asylum  even  to  the  dead  body  of  her  child. 
She  blesses  that  body  which  was  once  the  temple  of  the 
living  God,  and  she  even  consecrates  the  very  ground  in 
which  that  body  is  laid  to  rest. 

The  love  of  the  Church  for  her  children  does  not  pause 
even  at  the  grave.  Day  after  day  she  offers  up  her 
prayers ;  day  after  day  she  offers  up  the  holy  sacrifice  of 
the  altar  for  the  souls  of  her  children  departed.  The 
husband  may  forget  the  wife  of  his  bo'som,  the  mother  may 
forget  the  child  of  her  heart,  but  the  holy  Church  does  not 
forget  her  children,  not  even  in  death  :  her  love  is  divine, 
it  is  eternal.  And  in  this  love  the  Church  is  impartial : 
she  is  just  to  all.  As  the  holy  spouse  of  Christ,  she  loves 
justice  and  hates  iniquity.  She  lias  spurned  the  anointed 
king  from  the  temple  of  God,  until  he  repented  of  his  crime  ; 
and  on  the  head  of  the  lowly  monk,  who  spent  his  days 
in  labor  and  prayer,  she  has  placed  the  triple  crown. 

At  one  moment  she  bathes  with  baptismal  dew  the 
peasant's  child ;  and  at  another,  she  boldly  confronts  the 

CREED.  169 

imperial  might  that  dares  assail  her  holy  altar.  Now  the 
Church  is  accused  of  despotism,  because  she  upholds  the 
rights  of  lawful  authority ;  and  again,  she  is  accused  of 
aVrogance,  because  she  dares  to  protect  the  poor,  the  down 
trodden,  and  the  friendless. 

She  blesses  all  things  that  are  good  in  this  world  j  she 
protects  and  encourages  the  fine  arts.  Truth  is  the  essence 
of  order,  the  essence  of  beauty.  Religious  truth  is  heavenly 
order,  is  supernatural  beauty.  The  Church  is  the  living 
spouse  of  heavenly  truth  ;  she  must,  therefore,  be  the  friend, 
the  protector,  of  all  beauty  and  order,  and  so  she  has  proved 
to  be  for  over  eighteen  hundred  years. 

In  the  Church,  all  that  is  good  and  beautiful  in  art  or 
nature  has  been  purified  as  in  a  heavenly  crucible,  and 
consecrated  to  the  service  of  religion.  The  poet  seeks  to 
please  the  imaginations  of  men,  and  the  Church  unfolds 
before  him  the  annals  of  Christianity.  She  tells  him  of 
the  august  sacrifice  of  infinite  love,  which  is  her  soul  and 
life,  and  she  tells  him  of  her  heroic  sufferings,  of  her 
martyr  faith ;  and  the  poet  draws  holy  inspiration  from 
these  touching  records,  and  incites  men  to  a  higher,  to 
a  holier  life. 

The  painter  and  the  sculptor  seek  to  place  before  our 
eyes  the  happiest,  the  most  sublime  of  conceptions  j  and 
the  Church  bids  them  look  into  her  treasure-house,  where 
they  find  the  most  perfect  models  of  every  virtue, — 
models  of  pure,  of  noble,  of  heroic  self-sacrifice. 

The  architect  seeks  to  build  up  a  monument  of  strength, 
and  intellect,  and  beauty  ;  and  the  Church  unlocks  for  him 
the  sublime,  mysterious  meanings  of  her  ceremonies  and 
symbols.  Guided  by  her  inspiration,  he  teaches  the  life 
less  stone,  he  teaches  the  spreading  arch,  the  pointed  spire, 


to  speak  to  men  of  faith,  of  hope,  of  love  ;  he  teaches  them 
to  speak  of  prayer,  of  sacrifice,  of  heaven. 

The  orator  strives  to  nerve  men  for  the  solemn  duties, 
the  grand  conflicts  of  life  ;  the  Church  of  Christ,  touches 
his  lips  with  living  fire  from  the  altar,  and  his  eloquence 
flows  on  in  an  impetuous  stream  of  "  thoughts  that  breathe, 
and  words  that  burn." 

The  musician  seeks  to  weave  his  entrancing  spells 
around  ear,  and  heart,  and  soul ;  and  the  Church  breathes 
into  his  soul  the  glorious,  wondrous  melodies  which  she 
has  borrowed  from  the  angels  of  heaven,  and  her  music 
seems  like  beatific  worship,  and  the  worship  on  earth  like 
beatific  music. 

4.  The  Church  is  holy  in  many  of  her  members. 
What  is  more  natural  than  this  ?  A  mother  that  teaches 
her  children  so  holy  a  doctrine,  sets  before  them  con 
stantly  the  example  of  her  divine  Founder,  that  they 
may  live  and  die  as  he  did.  A  mother  that  has  such 
powerful  means  to  sanctify  her  children,  cannot  but  be 
holy  in  the  fruits  of  sanctity,  in  the  saints,  and  in  the 
sacred  institutions  which  she  has  produced. 

To  be  convinced  of  the  personal  sanctity  of  millions  of 
her  children,  we  have  but  to  ({pen  the  annals  of  Church 
history.  ^  There  we  read  of  thousands  of  men  and  woVen 
who  fulfilled  the  spying  of  Christ :  "  Whosodver  shall  lose 
his  life  for  my  sake  and  the  Gospel,  shall  save  it."  (Mark 
viii,  35.)  Such  was  the  havoc  made  during  the  eaVly 
persecutions  of  the  Church,  that  her  martyrs  alone  amount 
to  thirty  thousand  for  every  day  in  the  year. 

How  many  thousands  of  the  children  of  the  Church 
followed  that  spying  of  the  Lord  :  "  If  thou  wilt  be  perfect, 
go,  sell  what  thou  hast,  and  give  to  the  poor,  and  come, 


Mow  me!"  (Matt,  xix,  21.)  And,  "Every  one  that 
hath  left  house,  or  brethren,  or  sisters,  or  father,  or  mother, 
or  wife,  or  children,  or  lands,  for  my  name's  sake,  shall 
receive  a  hundred-fold,  and  shall  possess  life  everlasting.'-' 
(Matt,  xix,  29.)  Astonishing,  indeed,  is  the  number  of 
those  who  have  followed  this  saying  of  our  Lord,  by  em 
bracing  the  religious  life. 

St.  Athanasius  writes  that  in  his  time  there  were 
monasteries  like  tabernacles,  full  of  heavenly  choirs  of 
people,  who  spent  their  time  in  singing  psalms,  in  reading 
and  pralying  5  that  they  occupied  a  large  extent  of  land, 
and  made,  as  it  were,  a  town  among  themselves.  Such 
immense  numbers  resorted  to  the  religious  life  in  Palestine, 
that  Isidore  was  the  superior  of  one  thousand  monks,  and 
his  successor,  Apollonius,  of  five  thousand  in  the  same 
monastery.  In  the  cloistered  community  of  Oryrynchus 
there  were  ten  thousand  monks.  Upon  a  hill  in  Nitria,  about 
twenty  miles  from  Alexandria,  there  were  five  hundred 
monasteries  under  one  superior.  Palladius  relates  that 
he  saw  a  city  in  which  there  were  more  monasteries  than 
houses  of  seculars,  "  so  that,  every  street  and  corner 
ringing  with  the  divine  praises,  the  whole  city  seemed  a 
church."  He  also  testifies  to  having  seen  multitudes  of 
monks  in  Memphis  and  Babylon,  and  that  not  far  from. 
Thebes  he  met  with  a  Father  of  three  thousand  monks. 
St.  Pachomius,  who  lived  about  three  hundred  years  after 
Christ,  had  seven  thousand  disciples,  besides  one  thousand 
in  his  own  house  5  and  Serapion  had  ten  thousand  monks 
under  his  jurisdiction. 

Theodoret  records  that  there  were  also  multitudes  of  relig 
ious  women  throughout  the  East,  in  Palestine,  Egypt,  Asia, 
Pontus,  Cilfcia,  Syria,  and  also  in  Europe :  "  Since  our 


Saviour,"  he  says,   "was  born  of  a  Virgin  Mother,  the 
fields  of  holy  virgins  are  Everywhere  multiplied." 

Nor  was  the  great  increase  of  religious  houses  confined 
to  the  early  ages  of  the  Church,  for  Trithemius,  who  died 
about  the  year  1516,  says  that,  in  his  time,  the  pro'vince 
of  Ments  alone  contained  one  hundred  and  twenty-four 
abbeys ;  and  that  there  was  a  time  when  they  had  fifteen 
thousand  abbeys,  besides  priories  and  other  small  monas 
teries,  belonging  to  his  order. 

f  St.  Bernard,  in  his  Life  of  St.  Malachy,  records  that,  in 
Ireland,  there  was  a  monastery  out  of  which  many  tho'u- 
sands  of  monks  had  come  forth :  "  A  holy  place  indeed," 
he  says,  "  and  fruitful  in  saints,  bringing  forth  abundant 
fruit  to  God,  insomuch  that  one  man  alone  of  that  ho'ly 
congregation,  whose  name  was  Luanus,  is  reported  to 
have  been  the  founder  of  one  hundred  monasteries.  And 
these  swarms  of  saints  have  not  only  spread  themselves 
in  Ireland  and  Scotland,  but  have  also  gone  into  foreign 
parts ;  for  St.  Columba,  coming  from  thence  into  France, 
built  the  monastery  of  Luxovium,  and  raised  there^a 
great  people,  their  number  being  so  great  that  the  divine 
praises  were  sung  by  them  day  and  night  without  inter 
mission.  St.  Columba  founded  one  hundred  monasteries, 
of  which  thirty-seven  were  in  Ireland,  a  country  which 
was,  for  centuries,  known  all  over  Europe  as  the  Island 
of  Saints  and  of  Doctors."  According  to  Archdall,  there 
were  in  Ireland  seven  hundred  and  forty-two  religious 

St.  Bernard,  in  the  space  of  thirtv  years  that  he  was 
abbot,  founded  one  hundred  and  sixty  monasteries.  So 
rapid  was  the  progress  of  his  order  that,  in  the  space  of 
fifty  years  from  its  establishment,  it  had  acquired  five 


hundred  abbeys  j  and  at  one  time  no  fewer  than  eight 
hundred  were  dependent  on  Clairvaux. 

The  Franciscans  seem  to  have  been  particularly  blessed 
in  the  speedy  and  extensive  propagation  of  their  order/ 
for,  about  the  year  1600,  one  branch  of  this  order,  called 
the  Observantines,  is  said  to  have  numbered  one  hundred 
thousand  members.  This  order  reckons  at  present  two 
hundred  thousand  men  and  three  hundred  thousand  sisters, 
including  the  tertiaries.  It  posse'sses  two  hundred  and 
fifty-two  provinces  and  twenty-six  thousand  convents,  of 
which  five  are  in  Palestine,  and  over  thirty  in  Turkey. 
More  than  eighty-nine  emperors,  kings  and  queens  have 
been  admitted  into  the  order,  which  has,  moreover,  the 
glory  of  having  furnished  three  thousand  saints,  or  beati 
fied  persons,  of  whom  seventeen  hundred  are  martyrs. 

Nor  is  the  Church  less  holy  in  many  of  her  members, 
in  our  day.  Who  really  takes  Christian  care  of  the  poor, 
the  sick,  and  the  friendless,  but  the  Catholic  Church  ? 
She  has  founded  such  orders  as  the  Sisters  of  Charity,  the 
Sisters  of  Mercy,  the  Sisters  of  St.  Joseph,  and  so  many 
others,  in  order  to  administer  to  their  wants. 

Where  can  you  find,  outside  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
that  young  and  beautiful  virgin,  who  lays  at  the  foot  of 
the  cross  her  youth,  her  wealth,  and  her  beauty ;  who 
sacrifices  all  earthly  hope  and  love,  to  spend  her  days  in 
a  loathsome  hospital,  and  to  watch,  during  the  long,  dull 
night,  by  the  bedside  of  the  sick  and  dying  ?  The  charita 
ble,  heroic  deeds  of  these  holy  virgins  have  already  brought 
conviction  to  the  minds  and  hearts  of  many  non-Catholics. 

St.  John  the  Evangelist  tells  us  that  our  Saviour  cured 
one  day  a  young  man  who  had  been  born  blind.  The 
Pharisees  heard  of  this,  and  were  filled  with  rage  and 


envy.  They  took  the  young  man  aside,  and  said  to  him  : 
"  Give  glory  to  God  5  that  man  that  cured  you  is  a  sinner." 
"  Well,"  said  the  young  man,  "  whether  he  be  a  sinner  or 
not,  I  cannot  say.  But  one  thing  I  do  know,  and  that  is, 
that  he  has  cured  me.  God  does  not  hear  sinners.  If 
this  man  were  not  from  God,  he  could  not  do  such  things." 
(John  ix.)  This  was  the  argument  of  the  young  man  in 
the  Gospel;  this,  too,  is  the  simple  argument  of  every 
honest  non-Catholic.  The  bigots  and  Protestant  preachers 
say  to  the  returned  soldier,  to  the  young  man  who  has 
just  come  forth  from  the  hospital  where  he  suffered  during 
a  long  and  pdinful  illness:  "  The  Catholic  Church  is 
sinful  and  corrupt."  "  Well/7  the  young  man  answers, 
"  whether  she  is  corrupt  or  not,  I  do  not  know  j  but  one 
thing  I  do  know,  and  that  is,  that  I  was  at  the  point  of 
death,  and  now  I  am  well :  and  I  owe  it,  after  God,  to  the 
good  Sisters  of  the  Catholic  Church.  They  waited  on  me  in 
the  hospital,  in  the  battle-field  j  they  nursed  me  as  tenderly 
as  a  mother  or  a  sister  could  have  done :  and  they  did  it 
without  pay?  without  any  human  motive  or  reward.  Now, 
a  bad  tree  cannot  bring  forth  such  good  fruit.  If  the 
Catholic  Church  were  as  sinful  and  corrupt  as  you  say, 
God  would  not  give  her  children  such  heroic  devotedness." 
Behold,  again,  the  holy  charity  of  the  Catholic  Church 
toward  the  very  outcasts  of  society, — those  poor,  fallen 
creatures,  that  have  become  the  dishonor  of  their  sex ! 
See  how  closely  she  imitates  her  divine  spouse,  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ !  Jesus  is  present  at  a  great  feast.  A  poor, 
sinful  woman,  notorious  on  account  of  her  wicked  life, 
falls  prostrate  at  his  feet.  She  washes  his  feet  with  her 
tears,  and  wipes  them  with  her  hair.  The  Pharisees  are 
shocked  and  scandalized.  They  say  in  their  hearts: 


"  This  man  is  no  prophet ;  if  he  were  a  prophet,  he  would 
know  what  kind  of  a  woman  that  is  who  kneels  at  his 
feet ;  he  would  spurn  her  from  him."  But  Jesus  knows 
well  the  sinful  life  of  Magdalen,  and  yet  he  does  not 
reject  her.  On  the  contrary,  he  defends  her  before  them 
all,  and  says  to  her:  "My  child,  go  in  peace,  thy  sins 
are  forgiven  thee  !  " 

Ah,  how  full  of  mercy  and  compassion  is  the  heart  of 
Je'sus  Christ !  Now  look  upon  his  spouse,  the  holy  Cath 
olic  Church,  and  see  if  she  is  not  worthy  of  her  heavenly 
Bridegroom  !  The  unfortunate  woinan  whom  many  have 
helped  to  drag  into  destruction,  has  not  now  a  hand 
stretched  out  to  save  her.  The  world  that  allured  and 
ruined  her  despises  her,  and  laughs  her  to  scorn.  The 
proud,  self-righteous  Pharisee  turns  away  from  her  in  horror 
and  disgust.  The  grace  of  God  at  last  touches  her  heart. 
She  sees  herself  abandoned  by  all,  she  turns  her  despair 
ing  eyes  to  God.  Friendless,  homeless,  and  alone,  she 
wanders  through  the  dark  by-ways  of  this  valley  of  tears 
till  at  last  she  stands  at  the  ever-open  portals  of  the  holy 
Ca'tholic  Church.  She  enters,  she  falls  at  the  feet  of  the 
priest  of  Jesus  Christ.  She  weeps,  she  repents,  she  is 

See  those  pure  virgin  nuns,  who  are  justly  called  the 
Daughters  of  the  Good  Shepherd !  They  have  sworn, 
before  the  altar  of  God,  to  devote  their  whole  life  to  the 
reformation  of  these  poor  outcasts  of  society, — these 
unhappy  victims  of  a  heartless  world.  See  how  gently 
they  receive  the  fallen  one,  how  kindly  they  treat  her  ! 
See  how  she  enters  the  convent  chapel,  and  at  the  very 
feet  of  Jesus,  in  the  blessed  sacrament,  she  pours  out  her 
prayers,  and  sighs,  and  tears !  She  experiences  at  last 


that  there  is  rest  for  the  weary,  that  there  is  hope  for  the 
sinner ;  that  there  is,  indeed,  a  heaven  on  earth,  in  the 
holy  Catholic  Church. 

In  every  age,  and  in  every  country  through  which  the 
Catholic  religion  has  spread,  there  have  been  ma^iy  Cath 
olics  who  showed,  in  their  daily  conduct,  that  they  complied 
with  the  words  of  St.  Paul :  u  This  is  the  will  of  God, 
your  sanctification."  (I  Thess.  iv,  3.)  They  were  scrupulous 
keepers  of  the  commandments  of  God,  fulfilling  the  whole 
law  and  the  prophets.  How  could  it  be  otherwise  ?  Jesus 
Christ,  in  the  blessed  sacrament, — this  divine  food,  the 
source  of  all  sanctity, — never  ceases  to  bring  forth  holy 
bishops,  like  St.  Charles  Borromeo,  St.  Francis  de  Sales, 
St.  Alphonsus  Liguori  j  holy  priests,  like  St.  Vincent  de 
Paul,  St.  Francis  Xavier,  St.  Peter  Claver;  holy  virgins, 
like  St.  Teresa,  St.  Catharine  of  Sienna,  St.  Zitta,  St. 
Rose  of  Lima ;  holy  widows,  like  St.  Frances  de  Chantal ; 
holy  martyrs,  like  Borie,  Gagelin,  and  so  many  others. 

That  God  confirmed  the  holiness  of  his  servants  by 
many  miracles  and  extraordinary  gifts,  may  be  read  in  the 
Lives  of  the  Saints,  or  in  any  Church  history.  "Amen, 
amen,  I  say  to  you,"  said  Christ,  "  he  that  believeth  in 
me,  the  works  that  I  do  he  also  shall  do,  and  greater  than 
these  shall  he  do  "  (John  xiv,  12)  ;  and,  "  These  signs  shall 
follow  them  that  believe :  In  my  name  they  shall  cast  out 
devils,  they  shall  speak  with  new  tongues,  they  shall  take 
up  serpents,  they  shall  lay  their  hands  upon  the  sick,  and 
they  shall  recoVer."  (Mark  xvi,  17,  18.)  Accordingly,  we 
read  that  SS.  Paphnutius,  Remigius,  Otto,  Robert,  Dom 
inic,  and  many  others,  cast  out  the  devil  from  possessed 
persons.  When  St.  Bernardine  of  Sienna,  St.  Anthony 
of  Padua,  St  Francis  Xavier,  and  others,  preached  to  an 

CREED.  177 

audience  composed  of  people  from  different  countries,  every 
one  believed  he  heard  his  own  tongue  spoken.  St.  Hilary, 
St.  Magnus,  St.  Patrick,  and  others,  banished  snakes  and 
other  reptiles.  St.  Gregory  Thaumaturgus  moved  a  moun 
tain,  to  obtain  a  site  for  a  Church.  St.  Patrick,  St.  Martin, 
St.  Benedict,  St.  Dominic,  St.  Anthony,  St.  Francis  of  Paula, 
and  many  others,  raised  dead  persons  to  life.  St.  Francis 
Xavier  raised  twenty-five,  and  St.  John  Capistran,  thirty 
dead  persons  to  life.  St.  Stanislas  the  Martyr  restored  a 
man  to  life  who  had  died  three  years  before,  and  presented 
him  before  the  court  to  testify  that  he  had  bought  from 
him  a  certain  piece  of  ground  for  his  church,  and  that  he 
had  paid  him  in  full. 

The  Catholic  Church,  then,  is  holy  in  her  doctrine  and 
means  of  grace ;  she  is  holy  in  all  those  of  her  members 
who  live  up  to  her  holy  doctrine.  She  is  holy  in  the 
strenuous  efforts  which  she  has  always  made  to  put  down 
errors,  correct  abuses,  destroy  sin,  and  cure  all  kinds  of 
evils.*  Any  one  who  reads,  for  instance,  the  acts  of  the 

*  In  uprooting  evils,  in  putting  down  errors,  and  heresies,  and  the 
like,  the  Church  never  used  violent  means,  such  as  confiscation  of  goods, 
banishment,  exile,  bloodshed  and  death.  The  Church  has  always 
taught  her  children  to  suffer  persecution  for  the  sake  of  Christ,  but 
never  to  commence  it  and  carry  it  on.  Her  spirit  is  to  love  her  enemies, 
to  pray  for  their  conversion,  and  to  return  good  for  evil.  Hence  she 
has,  at  all  times,  invariably  condemned  such  actions  of  Catholic  mon 
arch's  as  were  opposed  to  this  spirit  of  meekness  and  charity.  King 
Ferdinand  established  what  is  called  "The  Spanish  Inquisition."  He 
had  good  reason  to  believe  that  the  Moors  and  the  Jews  were  enemies 
to  his  government.  In  those  days  outspoken  heresy  was  looked  upon 
as  an  offence  against  religion  as  well  as  against  the  State.  Accordingly, 
he  erected  a  civil  tribunal  for  the  trial  of  those  of  his  subjects  who  were 
suspected  of  heresy  and  disloyalty.  By  this  civil  tribunal  the  Moors 
and  Jews  were  oppressed,  not  so  much  on  account  of  their  heresy,  but 
rather  on  account  of  their  rebellious  spirit,  arising  from  heresy.  The 


Council  of  Trent,  cannot  fail  to  notice  that  one-half  of  its 
chapters  treat  of  the  great  work  of  reformation.  In  this 
council  the  Church  proscribes  duels,  reduces  liturgies  to 
unity,  banishes  profane  airs  and  se'cular  mtisic  from  her 
temples,  institutes  seminaries  for  the  education  of  the 
clergy,  establishes,  at  cathedrals,  free-schools  and  lectures 
on  holy  Scripture,  for  the  instruction  of  the  people  j  she 
reminds  her  pastors  that  they  are  bound  to  continence,  to 
residence,  to  frequent  and  diligent  preaching ;  she  inter- 
object,  therefore,  of  the  Spanish  Inquisition  was  to  preserve  the  integ 
rity  of  the  kingdom,  rather  than  that  of  the  Catholic  religion.  From 
the  beginning  of  the  action  of  this  political  institution,  Pope  Sixtus 
IV  was  exceedingly  displeased  with  it.  He  urged  his  objections  so 
strongly,  that  the  ambassadors  of  both  courts  were  ordered  to  leave 
their  respective  stations,  and  Ferdinand  commanded  all  his  subjects  to 
leave  Borne.  The  pope  also  commanded  that  the  Inquisition  should 
not  be  established  in  any  other  province.  The  Holy  Father  did  all  in 
his  power  to  stop  the  prosecutions,  and  to  soften  the  punishments  in  other 
cases.  He  also  insisted  that  the  civil  rights  and  the  property  of  every 
condemned  person  should  be  restored  to  him,  or,  if  he  was  dead,  to  his 
children.  Pope  Leo  X  excommunicated  the  Inquisitors  of  Toledo.  Pope 
Paul  III  lamented  bitterly  the  condition  of  the  Spanish  Inquisition,  and 
assisted  those  who  were  opposing  its  introduction  into  Naples.  Pope 
Pius  IV  aided  St.  Charles  Borromeo  in  keeping  it  out  of  Milan.  The 
statement  of  these  facts  is  verified  by  Llorente's  work,  or  by  Professor 
Hefele's  (of  Tubingen)  Epitome  of  Llorente,  in  his  "Ximenes."  The 
excesses  of  the  Spanish  Inquisition  would  not  have  taken  place  had  the 
court  of  Spain  been  obedient  to  the  briefs  and  commands  of  the  popes. 
Whenever  temporal  princes  persist  in  meddling  with  matters  which  do  not 
pertain  to  their  province,  they  will  always  pass  the  limits  of  justice.  It 
would  be  great  folly  for  any  one  to  blame  the  Church  for  those  excesse- 
of  her  members  which  she  disowns,  abhors,  and  condemns.  No  Protes 
tant  or  infidel  could  even  produce  a  brief  of  a  pope  or  an  act  of  a  coun 
cil  sanctioning  religious  persecution.  The  Catholic  Church  is  indeed 
opposed  to  heresy;  but  the  only  weapons  she  uses  to  extirpate  it  are,  to 
explain  her  doctrine  to  all  non- Catholics,  and  to  be  charitable  and  meek 
toward  them. 

CREED.  179 

di£ts  all  appearance  of  simony  and  venality  in  the  distri 
bution  of  ecclesiastical  offices,  in  preaching  indulgences, 
and  in  administering  the  sacraments. 

Thus  the  tree  is  pruned,  but  not  uprooted  j  the  pastors, 
those  heavenly  physicians,  cure  their  patients,  but  do  not 
kill  them  ;  the  clergy  and  the  religious  orders  are  reformed, 
but  the  priesthood  and  the  religious  state  are  not  abol 
ished  j  incontinence  is  suppressed,  though  universal  mar 
riage  is  not  preached  j  the  weeds  in  the  field  of  the  Lord 
are  plucked  up?  but  the  good  seed  is  preserved.  This  is 
a  reformation,  not  of  the  Church,  but  by  the  Church, — a 
reformation  to  bring  about  which,  she  was  established  by 
Christ  ;  a  reformation  which  she  accomplishes  by  her 
general  councils,  by  her  zealous  bishops  and  holy  priests,  by 
her  fervent  religious  orders  and  congregations  of  both  sexes, 
and  by  so  many  pious  confraternities.  But  the  Church  her 
self,  her  doctrine,  her  means  of  grace,  her  order  of  govern 
ment,  are  all  divine  and  holy,  and  therefore  can  never  be 
reformed :  it  would  be  a  monstrous  impiety  to  say  that  she 
could  be  reformed. 

What  a  glorious  Church  is  ours  !  What  power  but  that 
of  God  could  make  her  so  divinely  one  in  her  faith,  in  her 
morality,  in  her  worship,  in  her  government  ?  What 
holiness  but  that  of  the  Lord  could  make  her  so  holy  in. 
her  Founder,  in  her  doctrine,  in  her  sacraments,  in  her 
members  ?  What  more  natural  than  that  the  Lord  of  all 
power  and  of  all  holiness  should  make  this  Church  Catholic, 
as  to  time,  place,  and  doctrine  ?  But, 

6.  What  does  the  word  Catholic  mean  ? 

The  word  Catholic  means  Universal. 

Now  it  is  easy  to — 


7,  Show  how  the  Roman  Church  is  Catholic,  or  Universal. 

The  Roman  Church  is  Catholic  ;  1,  because  she  has  ex 
isted  in  all  ages ;  2,  because  she  teaches  all  nations ;  and, 
3,  because  she  maintains  all  truths. 

1.  The  Koman  Church  is  Catholic,  because  she  has 
existed  in  all  ages.  This  Church  is  Catholic,  or  universal, 
in  her  duration.  She  goes  back,  without  a  break,  through 
the  apostles  to  Jesus  Christ,  through  Jesus  Christ  to  the 
origin  of  the  chosen  people,  and  through  Abraham  and  the 
patriarchs  even  to  our  first  parents  in  paradise.  The 
enemies  of  God  hate  his  holy  Church  ;  they  hate  the  pope, 
they  hate  the  bishops  and  the  priests ;  they  grind  their 
teeth,  they  foam  at  the  mouth,  they  tremble  with  rage, 
and  seem  as  if  they  would  tear  into  pieces  all  the  popes, 
bishops  and  priests  that  have  ever  lived,  from  Peter  to  the 
present  day.  Why  ?  Because  Jesus  Christ  continues  to 
live  in  P6ter?  and  in  his  successors  j  he  speaks  to  the 
world  and  teaches  it,  through  them,  like  one  having 
authority.  It  is  for  this  very  reason  that  the  Church  will 
remain  forever ;  for,  truth  and  justice  being  in  the  end 
always  victorious,  the  Church  will  not  cease  to  bless  and  to 
triumph.  All  the  works  of  the  earth  have  perished,  time 

has  obliterated  them.     The  Catholic  Church  remains  :   she 

/  / 

will  endure  until  she  passes  from  her  earthly  exile  to  her 
country  in  heaven. 

Human  theories  and  systems  have  flitted  across  her 
path,  like  birds  of  night,  but  have  vanished ;  numberless 
sects  have,  like  so  many  waves,  dashed  themselves  to 
froth  against  this  rock,  or,  recoiling,  have  been  lost  in  the 
vast  ocean  of  forgetfulness.  Kingdoms  and  empires  that 
once  existed  in  inimitable  worldly  gra'ndeur^are  no  more  j 
dynasties  have  died  out,  and  have  been  replaced  by  others. 


Theories  and  sceptres  and  crowns  have  withstood  the 
Church ;  but,  immutable,  like  God,  who  laid  her  founda 
tion,  she  is  the  firm,  unshaken  centre,  round  which  the  weal 
and  woe  of  nations  move  :  weal  to  them  if  they  adhere  to 
her,  woe  to  them  if  they  separate  from  her.  If  the  world 
takes  from  the  Catholic  Church  the  cross  of  gold,  she  will 
bless  the  world  with  one  of  wood.  If  necessary,  her  pas 
tors  and  all  her  children  can  suffer  and  die  for  the  faith, 
but  the  Catholic  Church  remains  :  she  is  immortal. 

We  cannot  but  smile  when  we  hear  men  talk  of  the  down 
fall  of  the  Catholic  Church.  What  could  hell  and  its  agents 
do  more  than  they  have  already  done  for  her  destruction  ? 
They  have  employed  tortures  for  the  body,  but  they  could 
not  reach  the  spirit ;  they  have  tried  heresy,  or  the  denial 
of  revealed  truth,  to  such  an  extent  that  we  can  see  no  room 
for  any  new  heresy  ;  they  have,  by  the  hand  of  schism,  torn, 
whole  countries  from  the  unity  of  the  Church  j  but  what  she 
lost  on  one  side  of  the  globe,  she  gained  tenfold  on  the  other. 
All  these  assaults  have  ignominiously  failed  to  verify  the 
prophecies  of  hell,  that  "  the  Catholic  Church  shall  fall." 

Look,  for  instance,  at  the  tremendous  effort  of  the  so- 
called  Reformation,  together  with  its  twin  sister,  the 
unbelief  of  the  nineteenth  century  !  Whole  legions  of 
Church  reformers,  together  with  armies  of  philosophers, 
armed  with  negation,  and  a  thousand-and-one  systems  of 
paganism,  furiously  attacked  the  Chair  of  Peter,  and 
swore  that  the  Papacy  should  fall,  and,  with  it,  the  whole 
Church.  Three  hundred  years  are  over,  and  the  Catholic 
Church  is  still  alive,  and  more  vigorous  than  ever.  She 
is  the  glorious  Church  of  all  ages.  And  as  Christ  made 
her  Catholic,  or  universal,  as  to  time,  so  also  he  made  her 
Catholic  as  to  place. 


2.  She  teaches  all  nations  :  "  Going  therefore,"  said  our 
Lord  to  his  apostles,  "  teach  ye  all  nations  j  "  and,  "  You 
shall  be  witnesses  unto  me  in  Jerusalem,  and  in  all  Jude'a, 
and  Samaria,  and  even  to  the  uttermost  part  of  the  earth." 
More  than  fifteen  hundred  years  ago  there  hun'g  in  the 
catacombs  of  Rome  a  lamp  shaped  in  the  form  of  a  ship, 
at  whose  helm  sat  St.  Peter,  steering  with  one  hand,  and 
with  the  other  giving  his  blessing.  On  one  side  of  this 
miniature  ship  were  engraved  the  words,  "Peter  dies 
not;"  and  on  the  other,  the  words  of  our  Saviour/  "I 
have  prayed  for  thee."  (Luke  xxii,  32.) 

There  could  not  be  a  more  beautiful  symbol  of  the 
Catholic  Church.  She  is  the  lamp  which  has  dispelled 
the  darkness  of  heathenism,  and  has  furnished  the  nations 
with  the  brilliant  light  of  truth ;  the  Church  is  a  ship, 
which  has  carried  this  light  safely,  through  the  storms  of 
ages,  to  the  ends  of  the  earth,  bringing  with  it  blessings 
to  the  nations,  and  gathering  into  its  apostolic  net,  as  it 
sailed  along,  the  perishing  children  of  men.  And  at  the 
helm  sits  the  poor  fisherman  of  Galilee,  St.  Peter,  in  the 
person  of  the  pope,  together  with  his  assistants,  the 
Catholic  bishops  and  priests,  directing  the  course  of  the 
vessel,  now  to  this,  now  to  that  distressed  country,  now  to 
this,  now  to  that  sorrowing  people,  to  carry  to  them,  not 
gold,  not  silver,  but  what  is  infinitely  more  precious, — 
faith  j  and  with  faith,  true  civilization,  based  upon  the 
unchangeable  principles  of  supernatural  morality,  true 
prosperity,  true  happiness,  and  peace  on  earth  and  for 
eternity.  j 

It  was  not  by  the  circulation  of  the  Bible,  by  Bible 
societies  or  by  money,  but  by  the  living  voice  of  the 
Roman  Church, — it  was  through  the  popes,  the  Catholic 


bishops  and  priests,  that  Christianity,  at  the  end  of  the 
third  century,  covered  the  whole  then  known  world.  The 
Capitoline  temple,  and  with  it  the  many  shrines  of  idola 
try,  the  golden  house  of  Nero,  and  with  it  Koman  excess 
and  Roman  cruelty,  the  throne  of  the  Csesars,  and  with  it 
Roman  oppression  and  Roman  injustice,  had  all  passed 
away,  and  there  stood  the  Rome  of  the  Fathers  of  the 
Church, — the  Rome  which  has  yet  to  do  such  wonders  in 
the  world. 

"  And  the  Alight  shone  into  the  darkness."  Pope  after 
pope,  the  principal  bearers  of  the  light  of  the  true  faith, 
sent  forth  to  the  nations  bishops  and  missionaries,  full  of 
the  spirit  of  self-sacrifice,  solely  devoted  to  their  great 
task  j  and  by  the  inflamed  zeal,  the  fervent  piety,  the 
earnest  prayers  and  penances,  the  astounding  miracles,  the 
bright  examples  and  spotless  lives  of  these  apostolic  men, 
new  tribes  and  new  nations  were  gained  for  Christ,  year 
after  year.  Thus,  St.  Austin  carried  the  light  of  faith  to 
England,  St.  Patrick  to  Ireland,  St.  Boniface  to  Germany. 
The  Frieslanders,  the  Moravians,  the  Prussians,  the 
Swedes,  the  Picts,  the  Scots,  the  Franks,  and  hundreds  of 
others,  were  brought  to  the  bosom  of  the  Church  through 
the  preaching  and  labors  of  the  bishops  and  priests  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church.  Driven  from  one  country,  their 
influence  was  made  to  act  on  another.  When  Solisman, 
the  Sultan,  threatened  to  wipe  out  Christianity  from 
Europe,  Roman  Catholic  bishops  and  priests  went  to  the 
East  Indies,  to  China,  and  Japan.  When  Europe  failed 
in  its  fidelity,  and  listened  to  the  siren  voice  of  heresy, 
Catholic  bishops  and  priests  were  sent  to  the  newly- 
discoVered  continent  of  America,  and  to  the  West  Indies. 

Gregory  XVI  devised  plans  for  missions  to  the  interior 


i  / 

of    Africa, — missions  which    are    yet  working   winders. 

This  great  work  of  enlightening  the  world  with  the  true 
light  of  the  Catholic  religion,  the  Church  accomplished, 
more  particularly  by  those  astonishing  organiz^tiqns  called 
religious  orders. 

Besides  carrying  the  light  of  faith  to  all  nations,  those 
religious  orders  did  another  thing :  they  civilized  the 
countries  to  which  they  had  been  sent. 

In  the  pagan  world,  education  was  an  edifice  built  up 
on  the  principles  of  slavery.  The  motto  was:  lt  Odi  pro- 
fanum  vulgus  et  arceo" — I  hate  and  shun  the  common 
people.  Education  was  the  privilege  of  the  aristocracy. 
The  great  mass  of  people  was  studiously  kept  in  ignorance 
of  the  treasures  of  the  mind.  This  state  of  things  was 
done  away  with  by  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  when  she 
established  the  monastic  institutions  of  the  West.  The 
whole  of  Europe  was  soon  covered  with  schools,  not  only 
for  the  wealthy,  but  even  for  the  poorest  of  the  poor. 
Education  was  systematized,  and  an  emulation  was 
created  for  learning,  such  as  the  world  had  never  seen 
before.  Italy,  Germany,  France,  England,  and  Spain, 
had  their  universities  j  but,  side  by  side  with  these,  their 
colleges,  gymnasiums,  parish  and  village  schools,  as 
numerous  as  the  churches  and  monasteries  which  the 
efforts  of  the  Holy  See  had  scattered,  with  lavish  hand, 
over  the  length  and  breadth  of  the  land. 

And  where  was  the  source  of  all  this  light  ?  At  Rome. 
For,  when  the  barbarian  hordes  poured  down  upo;n  Europe 
from  the  Caspian  Mountains,  it  was  the  popes  who  saved 
civilization.  They  collected,  in  the  Vatican,  the  manu 
scripts  of  the  ancient  authors,  gathered  from  all  parts  of  the 
earth  at  enormous  expense.  The  barbarians,  who  destroyed 


everything  by  fire  and  sword,  had  already  advanced  as 
far  as  Rome.  Attila,  who  called  himself  tl  the  Scourge  of 
God,"  stood  before  its  walls  j  there  were  no  emperor,  no 
pretorian  guard,  no  legions  present,  to  save  the  ancient 
capital  of  the  world.  But  there  was  a  pope :  Leo  I. 
And  Leo  went  forth,  and  by  entreaties,  and  threats  of 
God's  displeasure,  induced  the  dreaded  king  of  the  Huns 
to  retire.  Scarcely  had  Attila  retired,  befo're  Genseric, 
King  of  the  Vandals,  made  his  appearance,  invited  by 
Eudoxia,  the  empress,  to  the  plunder  of  Rome.  Leo  met 
him,  and  obtained  from  him  the  lives  and  the  honor  of 
the  Romans,  and  the  sparing  of  the  public  monuments 
which  adorned  the  city  in  such  numbers.  Thus  Leo  the 
Great  saved  Europe  from  barbarism.  To  the  name  of  Leo 
might  be  added  those  of  Gregory  I,  Sylvester  II,  Gre 
gory  XIII,  Benedict  XIV,  Julius  III,  Paul  III,  Leo  X, 
Clement  VIII,  John  XX,  and  a  host  of  others,  who 
must  be  looked  upon  as  the  preservers  of  science  and  the 
arts,  even  amid  the  very  fearful  torrent  of  barbarism  that 
was  spreading  itself,  like  an  inundation,  over  the  whole  of 
Europe.  The  principle  of  the  Catholic  Church  has  ever 
been  this :  u  By  the  knowledge  of  divine  things,  and 
the  guidance  of  an  infallible  teacher,  the  human  mind 
must  gain  certainty  in  regard  to  the  sublimest  problems, 
the  great  questions  of  life;  by  them  the  origin,  the  end, 
the  aim  and  limit  of  man's  activity,  must  be  made  known, 
for  then  only  can  he  venture  fearlessly  upon  the  sphere 
of  hiiman  efforts,  and  human  developments,  and  human 
science."  Andj  truly,  never  has  science  gained  the 
ascendency  outside  of  the  Church  that  it  has  Always  held 
in  the  Church.  And  what  is  true  of  science  is  true,  also,  of 
the  arts.  It  is  true  of  architecture,  of  sculpture,  and  of 


painting.  We  need  only  point  to  the  Basilica  of  Pe'ter, 
to  the  museums  and  libraries  of  Eome.  It  is  to  Rome 
the  youthful  artist  always  turns  his  steps,  in  Order  to 
drink  in,  at  the  monuments  of  art  and  of  science,  the 
genius  and  inspiration  he  seeks  for  in  vain  in  his  own 
country.  He  feels,  only  too  keenly,  that  railroads  and 
telegraphs,  steamships  and  power-looms,  banking-houses 
and  stock- companies,  though  good  and  u'seful  institutions, 
are  not  the  mothers  of  genius,  nor  the  schools  of  inspira'- 
tion  ;  and  therefore  he  leaves  his  country,  and  goes  to 
Rome,  and  there  feasts  on  the  fruits  gathered  by  the  hands 
of  St.  Peter's  successors,  and  returns  home  with  a  name 
which  will  live  for  ages  in  the  memory  of  those  who  have 
learned  to  appreciate  the  true  and  the  beautiful. 

The  depravity  of  man  shows  itself  in  the  constant 
endeavor  to  shake  off  the  restraint  placed  by  law  and 
duty  upon  his  will :  and  to  this  we  must  ascribe  the  lice'n- 
tiousness  which  has  at  all  times  afflicted  society.  Passion 
acknowledges  no  law,  and  spares  neither  rights  nor 
conventions  j  where  it  has  the  power,  it  exercises  it  to  the 
advantage  of  self,  and  to  the  detriment  of  social  oVder. 
The  Church  is,  by  its  very  constitution,  Catholic,  and  hence 
looks  upon  all  men  as  brothers  of  the  same  family.  She 
acknowledges  not  the  natural  right  of  one  man  Over 
another  j  and  hence  her  Catholicity  lays  a  heavy  restraint 
upon  all  the  efforts  of  self-love,  and  curbs,  with  a  mighty 
hand,  the  temerity  of  those  who  would  destroy  the  har 
mony  of  life,  implied  in  the  idea  of  Catholicity. 

One  of  the  first  principles  of  all  social  happiness  is, 
that  before  the  law  of  nature,  and  before  the  face  of 
God,  all  men  are  equal.  This  principle  is  based  on  the 
unity  of  the  human  race,  the  origin  of  all  men  from  one 


common  father.  If  we  study  the  history  of  paganism,  we 
find  that  all  heathen  nations  overturned  this  great  prin 
ciple,  since  we  find  among  all  heathen  nations  the  evil  of 
slavery.  Prior  to  the  cdming  of  Christ,  the  great  major 
ity  of  men  were  looked  upon  as  a  higher  development  of 
the  animal,  as  animated  instruments,  which  might  be 
bought  and  sold,  given  away  and  pawned  5  which  might 
be  tormented,  maltreated,  or  murdered ;  as  beings,  in  a 
word,  for  whom  the  idea  of  right,  duty,  pity,  mercy,  and 
law,  had  no  existence.  Who  can  read,  without  a  feeling 
of  inte'nse  horror,  the  accounts  left  us  of  the  treatment  of 
their  slaves  by  the  Romans  ?  There  was  no  law  that 
could  restrain  in  the  least  the  wantonness,  the  cruelty,  the 
licentious  excess  of  the  master,  who,  as  master,  possessed 
the  absolute  right  to  do  with  his  slaves  whatsoever  he 
pleased.  To  remove  this  stain  of  slavery  has  ever  been 
the  aim  of  the  Catholic  Church.  "  Since  the  Saviour  and 
Creator  of  the  world,7'  says  Pope  Gregory  I,  in  his  cele 
brated  decree,  "  wished  to  become  man,  in  order,  by 
grace  and  liberty,  to  break  the  chains  of  our  slavery,  it 
is  right  and  good  to  bestow  again  upon  man,  whom  nature 
has  permitted  to  be  born  free,  but  whom  the  law  of  nations 
has  brought  under  the  yoke  of  slavery,  the  blessing  of 
his  original  liberty."  Through  all  the  middle  ages, — 
called  by  Protestants  the  dark  ages  of  the  world, — the  echo 
of  these  words  of  Gre'gory  I  is  heard ;  and,  in  the  thir 
teenth  century,  Pope  Pius  II  could  say  :  "  Thanks  be  to  God 
and  the  Apostolic  See,  the  yoke  of  slavery  does  no  longer 
disgrace  any  European  nation."  Since  then,  slavery  was 
again  introduced  into  Africa  and  the  newly-discovered 
regions  of  America,  and  again  the  jpopes  raised  their 
voices  in  the  interests  of  liberty.  Pius  VII,  even  at  the 


time  when  Napoleon  had  robbed  him  of  his  liberty,  and 
held  him  captive  in  a  foreign  land,  became  the  defender 
of  the  negro.  Gregory  XVI,  on  the  3d  of  November, 
1839,  insisted,  in  a  special  Bull,  on  the  abolition  of  the 
slave  trade,  and  spoke  in  a  strain  as  if  he  had  lived  and 
sat  side  by  side  with  Gregory  I,  thirteen  hundred  years 
before.  But  here  let  us  observe,  that  not  only  the  vindi 
cation  of  liberty  for  all,  not  only  the  abolition  of  slaVery, 
but  the  very  mode  of  action  followed  in  this,  matter  by  the 
popes,  has  gained  for  the  Church  immortal  honor,  and  the 
esteem  of  all  good  men.  When  the  Church  abolished 
slavery  in  any  country  where  it  existed,  the  popes  did 
not  compel  masters,  by  harshness  or  threats,  to  manumit 
their  slaves  j  they  did  not  bring  into  action  the  base  in 
trigues,  the  low  chicanery,  the  canting  hypocrisy,  of 
modern  statesmen  ;  they  did  not  raise  armies,  and  send 
them  into  the  lands  of  their  masters  to  burn  and  to  pillage, 
to  lay  waste  and  to  destroy ;  they  did  not  slaughter,  by 
their  schemes,  over  a  million  of  free  men,  and  another 
million  of  slaves  5  they  did  not  make  widows  and  orphans 
without  number  j  they  did  not  impoverish  the  land,  and 
lay  upon  their  subjects  burdens  which  would  crush  them 
into  v6ry  dust.  Nothing  of  all  this.  That  is  not  the 
way  in  which  the  Church  abolished  slavery.  The  popes 
sent  bishops  and  priests  into  those  countries  where  slavery 
existed,  to  enlighten  the  minds  of  the  masters,  and  con 
vince  them  that  slaves  were  men,  and  consequently  had 
immortal  souls  like  other  people.  The  pastors  of  the 
Church  infused  into  the  hearts  of  masters  a  deep  love  for 
Jesus  Christ,  and  consequently  a  deep  love  for  souls. 
They  taught  masters  to  look  upon  slaves  as  created  by  the 
same  God;  redeemed  by  the  same  Jesus  Christ,  destined 


for  the  same  glory.  The  consequence  was,  that  the  re 
lations  of  slave  and  master  became  the  relations  of  brother 
to  brother;  the  master  began  to  love  his  slave,  and  to 
ameliorate  his  condition,  till  at  last,  forced  by  his  own 
acknowleged  principles,  he  granted  to  him  his  liberty. 
Thus  it  was  that  slavery  was  abolished  by  the  preaching 
of  the  popes,  bishops  and  priests.  The  great  barrier  to 
all  the  healthy,  permanent,  and  free  development  of 
nations  was  thus  broken  down  ;  the  blessings,  the  privileges 
of  society,  were  made  equally  attainable  by  the  masses, 
and  ceased  to  be  the  special  monopoly  of  a  few,  who,  for 
the  most  part,  had  nothing  to  recommend  them  except  their 

It  is  thus  that  the  Catholic  Church  has  accomplished 
the  great  work  of  enlightening  society.  She  has  shed  the 
light  of  faith  over  the  East  and  the  West,  over  the  North 

and  the  South,  and  with  the  faith  she  has  established  the 

/  ' 

principles  of  true  science  on  their  natural  bases.  She 
has  imparted  education  to  the  masses,  wherever  she  was 
left  free  to  adopt  her  own,  and  untrammelled  by  civil 
interference.  She  has  fostered  and  protected  the  arts 
and  the  sciences ;  and  to-day,  if  all  the  libraries,  and  all 
the  museums,  and  all  the  galleries  of  art  in  the  world 
were  destroyed,  Rome  alone  would  possess  quite  enough 
to  supply  the  want,  as  it  did  in  former  ages,  when  others 
supplied  themselves  by  plundering  Rome.  She  has 
abolished  slavery,  and  established  human  freedom.  She 
truly  is  what  she  is  called :  Catholic  for  all  ages,  Catholic 
for  all  nations,  and — 

3.  She  is  Catholic,  because  she  maintains  all  truths. 

The  Roman  Church  is  universal,  or  catholic,  as  to  doc 
trine.  Her  doctrine  is  the  same  everywhere.  What  she 


teaches  in  one  country,  she  also  teaches  in  another. 
Her  doctrine  in  one  place  is  her  doctrine  in  another. 
There  can  be  in  the  Roman  Church  no  new  doctrine,  no 
local  belief,  no  creed  in  which  the  whole  Church  has  not 
been  united — the  Church  uniting  to  condemn  all  variations 
from  this  belief.  New  discipline,  new  practices,  new 
orders,  new  methods,  may  be  adopted  by  the  Church, 
according  to  the  requirements  of  her  work  ;  but  there 
can  be  no  doctrine  which  has  not  existed  from  the  begin 
ning,  as  it  was  received  from  Christ  and  the  apostles. 
A  doctrine,  to  be  truly  Catholic,  must  have  been  believed 
in  all  places,  at  all  times,  and  by  all  the  faithful.  By 
this  test  of  catholicity,  or  universality,  antiquity  and 
consent,  all  questions  of  faith  are  tried  and  decided. 
Doctrines  and  articles  of  faith  may  be  newly  defined,  as, 
for  instance,  that  of  the  Immaculate  Conception  or  of  the 
Infallibility  of  the  Pope,  but  there  can  be  no  new  doctrine. 
Novelty  is  a  quality  of  heresy  ;  for,  though  some  errors 
may  be  very  old,  yet  they  are  new  as  compared  with 
the  truth.  In  every  case,  the  truth  must  first  appear 
before  its  corresponding  error.  The  denial  of  any  truth 
supposes  its  previous  assertion.  Like  the  divine  Founder 
of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  her  doctrine  is  the  same 
yesterday,  to-day,  and  forever. 

"  Some  years  ago,"  writes  Mr.  Marshal,  a  distinguished 
English  convert,  "  I  was  present,  officially,  at  the  examina 
tion  of  an  English  primary  school,  in  which  the  children 
displayed  such  unusual  accuracy  and  intelligence,  as  long 
as  the  questions  turned  only  upon  secular  subjects,  that  I 
was  anxious  to  ascertain  whether  they  could  reason  as  well 
about  the  truths  of  the  Catechism  as  they  could  about 
those  of  grammar  and  arithmetic.  I  communicated 


my  desire  to  their  clergyman,  who  kindly  permitted  me  to 
have  recourse  to  a  test  which  I  had  employed  on  other 
occasions.  I  requested  him  to  interrogate  them  on  the 
Notes  of  the  Church,  and  when  they  had  explained  in  the 
ilsual  manner  the  meaning  of  the  word  Catholic,  I  took  up 
the  examination,  with  the  consent  of  the  priest,  and 
addressed  the  following  question  to  the  class :  '  You  say 
the  Church  is  Catholic  because  she  is  everywhere.  Now, 
I  have  visited  many  countries,  in  all  parts  of  the  world, 
and  I  never  came  to  one  in  which  I  did  not  find  heresy. 
If,  then,  the  Church  is  Catholic  because  she  is  everywhere, 
why  is  not  heresy  Catholic,  since  heresy  is  everywhere, 
also  V  '  If  you  please,  sir/  answered  a  little  girl,  about 
twelve  years  of  age,  '  the  Church  is  everywhere,  and 
everywhere  the  same ;  heresy  may  be  every  where  too, 
but  it  is  everywhere  different.'  r 

The  Church  is  unceasingly  assailed  by  new  errors, 
yet  she  always  and  everywhere  is  consistent  with  herself; 
she  explains  and  develops  her  earlier  definitions,  without 
even  the  shadow  of  change  appearing ;  she  has  declared, 
hundreds  of  times,  that  she  can  introduce  no  innovations, 
that  she  has  no  power  to  originate  anything  in  matters  of 
faith  and  morals,  but  that  it  is  her  right  and  office  to 
maintain  the  divine  doctrine  as  contained  in  Scripture 
and  tradition.  She  has  convoked  nineteen  General  Coun 
cils,  and  in  each  pronounced  a  solemn  anathema  on  all 
who  in  the  least  deviated  from  the  fafrith.  In  all  ages  she 
has  undergone  the  most  cruel  persecutions,  because  she 
maintains  all  truths,  and  for  this  very  reason  she  will  be 
persecuted  to  the  end  of  the  world.  But  rather  than 
yield  one  iota  of  her  doctrine,  she  is  willing  to  make  every 
sacrifice :  she  permits  whole  countries  to  leave  her,  her 


pastors  to  be  murdered,  her  children  to  be  imprisoned  and 
exiled,  rather  than  permit  one  tittle  of  the  law  to  be  abol 
ished.  See,  for  instance,  what  she  has  done  and  suffered 
in  upholding  the  dignity  of  the  sacrament  of  marriage, — • 
the  corner-stone  of  society  ! 

See  the  workings  of  Catholic  and  Protestant  doctrines 
of  marriage  in  society  !  Take  the  common  instance  of  a 
man  in  whose  heart  there  is  a  fearful  struggle  between 
conscience  on  the  one  hand,  and  blind,  brutish  passion  on 
the  other !  His  wife, — that  wife  whom  he  once  loved  so 
dearly, — has  become  hateful  to  him.  Perhaps  she  has  lost 
the  charm  of  beauty  which  once  fascinated  his  heart. 
Another  stands  before  him — she  is  young,  she  is  beautiful. 
Protestantism,  like  the  tempter  of  hell,  whispers  in  his  ear  : 
"  Sue  for  a  divorce.  The  marriage  bond  can  be  broken. 
Youth  and  beauty  may  yet  be  yours. "  And  the  voice  of 
conscience,  the  voice  of  Grod,  is  stifled.  Brutish  passion 
conquers.  Divorce  is  sought  and  obtained,  and  the  poor 
wife  is  cast  away,  and  left  heart-broken  and  companionless. 
And  the  children  of  such  a  marriage, — who  shall  care  for 
them  ?  Who  shall  teach  them  the  virtues  of  obedience  and 
charity?  How  can  they  respect  a  divorced  mother,  an 
adulterous  father  ?  No,  these  children  become  naturally 
the  curse  of  society.  They  fill  our  prisons,  our  hospitals, 
the  brothels. 

On  the  contrary,  if  that  man  is  a  Catholic,  the  holy 
Church  speaks  to  him  in  solemn  warning :  "  See  !  "  she 
says,  "  you  took  that  wife  in  the  day  of  her  early  joy  and 
beauty.  She  gave  you  her  young  heart  before  the  altar. 
You  swore  before  God  and  his  angels  to  be  faithful  to  her 
until  death.  I  declare  to  you,  then,  that,  at  the  peril  of 
your  immortal  soul,  you  must  keep  that  union  perpetual. 

CREED.  193 

That  union  shall  end  only  when  you  have  stood  by  her 
death-bed,  when  you  have  knelt  at  her  grave." 

The  Catholic  Church  has  always  regarded  Christian 
marriage  as  the  corner-stone  of  society  ;  and  at  that  corner 
stone  have  the  pastors  of  the  Church  stood  guard  for  eigh 
teen  centuries,  insisting  that  Christian  marriage  is  one,  ; 
holy  and  indissoluble.  Woman,  weak  and  unprotected, 
has  always  found  at  Rome  that  guarantee  which  was 
refused  her  by  him  who  had  sworn  at  the  altar  of  God 
to  love  her  and  to  cherish  her  till  death.  Whilst  in  the 
nations  which  Protestantism  tore  from  the  bosom  of  the 
Church,  the  sacred  laws  of  matrimony  are  trampled  in  the 
dust ;  whilst  the  statistics  of  these  nations  hold  up  to  the 
world  the  sad  spectacle  of  divorces  almost  as  numerous 
as  marriages,  of  separations  of  husband  from  wife,  and 
wife  from  husband,  for  the  most  trivial  causes,  thus  grant 
ing  to  lust  the  widest  margin  of  license,  and  legalizing 
concubinage  and  adultery  5  whilst  the  nineteenth  century 
records  in  its  annals  the  existence  of  a  community  of 
licentious  polygamists  within  the  borders  of  one  of  the 
most  civilized  countries  of  the  earth,  we  have  yet  to  see 
the  decree  emanating  from  Rome  that  would  permit  even 
a  beggar  to  repudiate  his  lawful  wife,  in  order  to  give  his 
affections  to  an  adulteress. 

The  female  portion  of  our  race  would  always  have 
sunk  back  into  a  new  slavery,  had  not  the  popes  entered 
the  breach  for  the  protection  of  the  unity,  the  sanctity,  the 
indissolubility  of  matrimony.  In  the  midst  of  the  barbar 
ous  ages,  during  which  the  conqueror  and  -warrior  swayed 
the  sceptre  of  empire,  and  kings  and  petty  tyrants  acknow 
ledged  no  other  right  but  that  of  force,  it  was  the  popea 
that  opposed  their  authority,  like  a  wall  of  brass,  to  the 


sensuality  and  the  passions  of  the  mighty  ones  of  the  earth, 
and  stood  forth  as  the  protectors  of  innocence  and  outraged 
virtue,  as  the  champions  of  the  rights  of  women,  against 
the  wanton  excesses  of  tyrannical  husbands,  by  enforcing, 
in  their  full  severity,  the  laws  of  Christian  marriage.  If 
Christian  Europe  is  not  covered  with  harems  j  if  polygamy 
has  never  gained  a  foothold  in  Europe ;  if,  with  the  indis- 
solubility  and  sanctity  of  matrimony,  the  palladium  of 
European  civilization  has  been  saved  from  destruction,  it 
is  all  owing  to  the  pastors  of  the  Church.  "  If  the  popes," 
says  the  Protestant  Yon  Miiller, — "if  the  popes  could 
hold  up  no  other  merit  than  that  which  they  gained  by 
protecting  monogamy  against  the  brutal  lusts  of  those  in 
power,  notwithstanding  bribes,  threats,  and  persecutions, 
that  fact  alone  would  render  them  immortal  for  all  future 

And  how  had  they  to  battle  till  they  had  gained  this 
merit  ?  What  sufferings  had  they  to  endure,  what  trials 
to  undergo  ?  When  King  Lothair,  in  the  ninth  century.,, 
repudiated  his  lawful  wife,  in  drder  to  live  with  a  concu 
bine,  Pope  Nicholas  I  at  once  took  upon  himself  the 
defence  of  the  rights  and  of  the  honor  of  the  unhappy 
wife.  All  the  arts  of  an  intriguing  policy  were  plied,  but 
Nicholas  remained  unshaken  j  threats  were  used,  but 
Nicholas  remained  firm.  At  last  the  king's  brother, 
Louis  II,  appears  with  an  army  before  the  walls  of  Rome, 
in  oVder  to  compel  the  pope  to  yield.  It  is  useless — 
Nicholas  swerves  not  from  the  line  of  duty.  Rome  ia 
besieged  j  the  priests  and  people  are  maltreated  and  plun 
dered  ;  sanctuaries  are  desecrated ;  the  cross  is  torn  down 
and  trampled  under  foot,  and,  in  the  midst  of  these  scenes 
of  blood  and  sacrilege,  Nicholas  flies  to  the  Church  of  St. 


Peter.  There  he  is  besieged  by  the  army  of  the  emperor 
for  two  days  and  two  nights ;  left  without  food  or  drink, 
he  is  willing  to  die  of  starvation  on  the  tomb  of  St.  Peter, 
rather  than  yield  to  a  brutal  tyrant,  and  sacrifice  the 
sanctity  of  Christian  marriage,  the  law  of  life  of  Christian 
society.  And  the  perseverance  of  Nicholas  I  was 
crowned  with  victory.  He  had  to  contend  against  a 
licentious  king,  who  was  tired  of  restraint  j  against  an 
emperor,  who,  with  an  army  at  his  heels,  came  to  enforce 
his  brother's  unjust  demands  5  against  two  councils  of 
venal  bishops :  the  one  at  Metz,  the  other  at  Aix-la- 
Chapelle,  who  had  sanctioned  the  scandals  of  the  adulter 
ous  monarch.  Yet,  with  all  this  opposition,  and  the 
suffering  it  cost  him,  the  pope  succeeded  in  procuring  the 
acknowledgment  of  the  rights  of  an  injured  woman. 
And  during  succeeding  ages  we  find  Gregory  V  carrying 
on  a  similar  combat  against  King  Robert,  and  Urban  II 
against  King  Philip  of  France.  In  the  thirteenth  century, 
Philip  Augustus,  mightier  than  his  predecessors,  set  to 
work  all  the  levers  of  power,  in  order  to  move  the  pope 
to  divorce  him  from  his  wife,  Ingelburgis.  Hear  the  noble 
answer  of  the  great  Innocent  III : — 

"  Since,  by  the  grace  of  God,  we  have  the  firm  and 
unshaken  will  never  to  separate  ourselves  from  justice 
and  truth,  neither  moved  by  petitions,  nor  bribed  by 
presents,  neither  induced  by  love,  nor  intimidated  by  hate, 
we  will  continue  to  go  on  in  the  royal  path,  turning  neither 
to  the  right  nor  to  the  left  j  and  we  judge  without  any 
respect  to  persons,  since  God  himself  does  not  respect 

After  the  death  of  his  first  wife,  Isabella,  Philip  Augus 
tus  wished  to  gain  the  favor  of  Denmark  by  marrying 


Ingelbiirgis.  The  union  had  hardly  been  solemnized, 
when  he  wished  to  be  divorced  from  her.  A  council  of 
venal  bishops  assembled  at  Compiegne,  and  annulled  his 
lawful  marriage.  The  queen,  poor  w6man,  was  summoned 
before  her  judges,  and  the  sentence  was  read  and  trans 
lated  to  her.  She  could  not  speak  the  language  of  France, 
so  her  only  cry  was,  "  Rome ! "  And  Rome  heard  her 
cry  of  distress,  and  came  to  her  rescue.  Innocent  III 
needed  the  alliance  of  France  in  the  troubles  in  which  he 
was  engaged  with  Germany  ;  Innocent  III  nee'ded  the 
assistance  of  France  for  the  Crusade  j  yet  Innocent  III 
sent  Peter  of  Capua  as  legate  to  France.  A  council  is 
convoked  by  the  legate  of  the  Pope ;  Philip  refuses  to 
appear,  in  spite  of  the  summons,  and  his  whole  kingdom  is 
placed  under  interdict.  Philip's  rage  knows  no  bounds ; 
bishops  are  banished,  his  lawful  wife  is  imprisoned,  and 
the  king  vents  his  rage  on  the  clergy  of  France.  The 
barons,  at  last,  appeal  to  the  sword.  The  king  complains 
to  the  pope  of  the  harshness  of  the  legate ;  and  when 
Innocent  only  confirms  the  sentence  of  the  legate,  the  king 
exclaims,  a  Happy  Saladin  !  he  had  no  pope  ! ??  Yet  the 
king  was  forced  to  obey.  When  he  asked  the  barons 
assembled  in  council,  "  What  must  I  do  ?  "  their  answer 
was,  "  Obey  the  pope ;  put  away  Agnes,  and  restore 
Ingelburgis."  And,  thanks  to  the  severity  of  Innocent 
III,  Philip  repudiated  the  concubine,  and  restored  Ingel- 
burgis  to  her  rights,  as  wife  and  queen. 

Hear  what  the  Protestant  Hurter  says  in  his  Life  of 
Innocent :  "If  Christianity  has  not  been  thrown  aside,  as 
a  worthless  creed,  into  some  isolated  corner  of  the  world  j 
if  it  has  not,  like  the  sects  of  India,  been  reduced  to  a  mere 
theory  ;  if  its  European  vitality  has  outlived  the  voluptuous 


effeminacy  of  the  East,  it  is  due  to  the  watchful  severity 
of  the  Roman  Pontiffs — to  their  increasing  care  to  main 
tain  the  principles  of  authority  in  the  Church." 

As  often  as  we  look  toward  England,  we  are  reminded 
of  the  words  of  Innocent  III  to  Philip  Augustus.  We 
see  Clement  using  them  as  his  principles  in  his  conduct 
toward  the  royal  brute,  Henry  VIII.  Catharine  of  Ara- 
gon,  the  lawful  wife  of  Henry,  had  been  repudiated  by 
her  disgraceful  husband,  and  it  was  again  to  Rome  she 
appealed  for  protection.  Clement  remonstrated  with 
Henry.  The  monarch  calls  the  pope  hard  names.  Cle 
ment  repeats,  u  Thou  shalt  not  commit  adultery  !"  Henry 
threatens  to  tear  England  from  the  Church — he  does  it ; 
still  Clement  insists,  "  Thou  shalt  not  commit  adultery  !" 
The  blood  of  Fisher  and  Moore  is  shed  at  Tyburn  ;  still 
the  pope  repeats,  "Thou  shalt  not  commit  adultery !" 
The  firmness  of  the  pope  cost  England's  loss  to  the  Church. 
It  cost  the  pope  bitter  tears,  and  he  prayed  to  heaven  not 
to  visit  on  the  people  of  England  the  crimes  of  the  despot  j 
he  prayed  for  the  conversion  of  the  nation  j  but  to  sacri 
fice  the  sanctity,  the  indissolubility  of  matrimony, — that 
he  could  never  do  ;  to  abandon  helpless  woman  to  the 
brutality  of  men  who  were  tired  of  the  restraints  of 
morality, — no,  that  the  pope  could  never  permit.  If  the 
court,  if  the  palace,  if  the  domestic  hearth,  refused  a 
shelter,  Rome  was  always  open,  a  refuge  to  injured  and 
down-trodden  innocence. 

"  One  must  obey  God  more  than  man."  This  has  ever 
been  the  language  of  the  Church,  whenever  there  was 
question  of  defending  the  laws  of  God  against  the  powera 
of  the  earth  ;  and  in  thus  defending  the  laws  of  God,  she 
has  always  shown  herself  Catholic. 


Oh,  how  sad  would  be  the  state  of  society  were  the 
popes,  the  bishops,  and  priests  to  be  banished  from  the 
earth  !  The  bonds  that  unite  the  husband  and  wife,  the 
child  and  the  parent,  the  friend  and  the  friend,  would  be 
broken.  Peace  and  justice  would  flee  from  the  earth. 
Robbery,  murder,  hatred,  lust,  and  all  the  other  crimes 
condemned  by  the  Gospel,  would  prevail.  Faith  would 
no  longer  elevate  the  souls  of  men  to  heaven.  Hope,  the 
sweet  consoler  of  the  afflicted,  of  the  widow  and  the 
orphan,  would  flee  away,  and  in  her  stead  would  reign 
black  despair,  terror,  and  suicide.  Where  would  we  find 
the  sweet  virtue  of  charity,  if  the  popes,  the  bishops,  and 
priests  were  to  disappear  forever  ?  Where  would  we  find 
that  charity  which  consoles  the  poor  and  forsaken,  which 
lovingly  dries  the  tears  of  the  widow  and  the  orphan, — 
that  charity  which  soothes  the  sick  man  in  his  sufferings, 
and  binds  up  the  wounds  of  the  bleeding  defender  of 
his  country!  Where  would  we  find  that  charity  which 
casts  a  spark  of  divine  fire  into  the  hearts  of  so  many 
religious,  bidding  them  abandon  home,  friends,  and  every 
thing  that  is  near  and  dear  to  them  in  this  world,  to  go 
among  strangers,  among  savage  tribes,  and  gain  there,  in 
return  for  their  heroism,  nothing  but  outrage,  suffering, 
and  death?  Where,  I  ask,  would  we  find  this  charity, 
if  the  popes,  the  bishops,  and  priests  were  to  disappear 
forever  f 

Let  a  parish  be  for  many  years  without  a  priest,  and  the 
people  thereof  will  become  the  blind  victims  of  error,  of 
superstition,  and  of  all  kinds  of  vices.  Show  me  an  age, 
a  country,  a  nation,  without  priests,  and  I  will  show  you 
an  age,  a  country,  a  nation,  without  morals,  without  virtue. 
Yes,  if  "  religion  and  science,  liberty  and  justice,  prin- 


ciple  and  right,"  are  not  empty  sounds — if  they  have  a 
meaning,  they  owe  their  energetic  existence  in  the  world 
to  the  "salt  of  the  earth," — to  the  popes,  bishops,  and 
priests  of  the  Catholic  Church. 

Finally,  the  Church,  one,  holy  and  Catholic,  is  also 
apostolic.  Now,  should  some  one  ask  : 

8.  Show  how  the  Catholic  Church  is  apostolic. 

We  answer  :  The  Catholic  Church  is  apostolic,  because  her 
chief  pastor,  the  pope,  is  the  lawful  successor  of  St.  Peter,  and 
the  bishops  are  the  laivful  successors  of  the  other  apostles,  from 
whom  they  have  their  doctrine,  their  orders,  and  their  mis 
sion,  through  an  unbroken  succession  of  bishops. 

The  Catholic  Church  can  show  precisely  how  she 
obtained  possession  of  the  divine  authority  of  the  apostles. 
The  Ro'man  Pontiff,  Pius  IX,  can  name  the  two  hundred 
and  fifty-three  popes  who,  without  a  break,  handed  down 
the  authority  of  St.  Peter,  the  head  of  the  apostles,  even 
to  himself.  He  can  tell  the  day  and  hour  of  his  election 
and  consecration,  which  are  consigned  to  imperishable 

Every  bishop  of  the  Catholic  Church  can  also  show  the 
authentic  titles  which  prove  the  transmission  of  the  apo 
stolic  authority  from  the  pontiff,  who  founded  his  Church, 
down  to  himself,  the  validity  of  his  7ordination,  and  the 
legitimate  character  of  his  mission.  Every  priest  receives 
his  authority  from  his  bishop.  Thus  there  is  not  a  break 
in  those  glorious  lines  of  bishops,  which  each  episcopal 
see,  and  above  all  sees,  that  of  Peter,  can  show  alike  to 
friend  and  foe.  Here  nothing  is  arbitrary,  nothing  un 
certain.  The  apostolic  ministry  is  perpetuated,  under 
the  presidency  of  the  head  of  the  apo'stles,  with  the 
perpetual  presence  and  assistance  of  Him  who  promised 


to  be  with  his  own,  even  to  the  end  of  the  world.  Thus 
the  authority  of  the  minister  of  our  altars  does  not  depend 
on  the  power  of  any  temporal  monarch,  nor  on  the  people  ; 
it  depends  solely  on  the  head  and  chief  pastor  in  the 
apostolical  hierarchy.  What  noble  independence  this ! 
It  is  the  security  of  the  faithful,  and  constitutes  both  the 
greatness  of  the  Church,  and  the  dignity  of  her  pastors. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  thirteenth  century  the  pope 
sent  ambassadors  to  the  famous  Tartar  monarch,  Jengis 
Khan.  The  Tartars  asked  the  ambassadors,  "  Who  is  the 
pope  ?  Is  he  not  an  old  man  at  least  five  hundred  years  of 
age  ?"  They  might  have  said  twelve  hundred,  and  they 
would  have  been  right ;  for,  as  Pius  IX  has  said  so  truly, 
"  Simon  may  die,  but  Peter  lives  forever :  "  and  Peter  will 
live  until  time  shall  have  ended  its  course.  Pius  IX  is  to  us 
Peter  5  for  each  pontiff,  as  he  comes,  reigns  upon  Peter's 
throne,  speaks  with  his  voice,  binds  and  looses  with  his 
hands,  opens  and  closes  the  kingdom  with  the  keys  which 
Peter  once  took  from  the  pierced  hands  of  his  divine 
Master ;  and  he  will  hold  those  keys  of  life  and  death  till 
the  number  of  the  elect  is  filled,  and  the  last  of  the 
redeemed  enters  his  Father's  house. 

The  Church  taught  and  governed  in  our  days  by  the 
pope  and  bishops,  differs  not  in  its  essential  character 
from  the  Church  taught  and  governed  by  Peter  and  the 
apostles.  Let  us  see  how  Peter  exercises  the  authority  con 
ferred  on  him,  and,  through  him,  upon  all  his  successors,  by 
Jesus  Christ.  After  the  resurrection  of  our  Saviour,  who 
appeared  to  Peter  first  of  all  the  apostles,  he  is  the  first 
to  proclaim  that  resurrection  to  all  the  people,  and  he 
confirms  the  truth  of  his  testimony  by  a  miracle.  (  Acts  ii, 
14  j  and,  iii,  15.)  After  the  ascension  of  our  Lord,  Peter 

CREED.  201 

assembled  the  apostles  and  some  disciples  in  the  upper- 
chamber,  and  addressed  them  thus,  "  The  Scripture  must 
needs  be  fulfilled/7  which  foretells  the  defection  of  Judas, 
and  his  place  being  taken  by  another.  We,  therefore,  must 
choose  one  from  among  us,  who  has  been  a  witness  to  the 
miracles  and  resurrection  of  the  Son  of  God,  to  take  his 
place.  (Acts  i,  16.)  Is  the  Gospel  to  be  preached  to 
the  Gentiles  ?  It  is  Peter  to  whom  the  solution  of  the 
difficulty  is  revealed 5  it  is  he  who  decides,  "all  holding 
their  peace,  and  giving  glory  to  God."  (Acts  iii,  18.) 
Peter  first  received  the  Gentiles  into  the  Church  (  Acts 
x ),  after  having  been  the  first  to  introduce  the  Jews  into 
her  sacred  fold.  At  a  later  period  the  question  of  circum 
cision  and  the  ceremonies  of  the  law  came  up.  Peter  at 
once  rose  up,  and  explained  the  common  faith.  All 
listened  in  silence.  A  decree  was  made  in  which  the 
faith  on  this  point  was  determined  forever.  Peter  visited 
the  Christians  of  Joppe,  Lydda,  Galilee,  Pontus,  Galatia, 
Cappadocia,  Asia,  Bithynia,  etc.  ( Acts  ix.)  Everywhere 
he  founded  new  congregations  of  Christians,  and  visited 
them  all  in,  his  office  of  Supreme  Pastor.  From  Jerusalem 
he  went  to  Antioch,  from  Antioch  to  Rome,  where  he 
combated  the  heresy  of  Simon  the  Magician,  and  finally 
sealed  his  glorious  apostleship  by  dying  a  martyr's  death. 

As  the  lawful  successor  of  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles,  the 
pope  decides,  without  appeal,  matters  of  faith  and  morals, 
convokes  general  councils,  presides  over  and  confirms  them, 
founds  churches,  visits  them  in  person,  or  by  his  delegates, 
appoints  bishops,  confirms  them  in  the  faith,  and  acts  in  all 
as  the  Supreme  Head  and  Pastor  of  the  Catholic  Church. 
Peter  took  possession,  for  himself  and  his  successors,  of  all 
the  prerogatives  and  duties  of  the  Sovereign  Pontificate. 


Now  let  us  see  how  the  apostles  exercise  the  authority 
conferred  on  them  by  Christ,     From  the  Acts  of  the  Apos 
tles  we  learn  that  they  teach  and  preach  the  Gospel,  they 
baptize  and  impose  hands, — that  is,  give  confirmation,-— 
they  found  churches,  and  give  them  pastors  ;  they  choose 
one  to  succeed  Judas  ;  in  the  Council  of  Jerusalem,  they 
regulate  whatever  concerns  faith  and  discipline,  saying,  "  It 
has  seemed  good  to  the  Holy  Ghost  and  to  us"  (Acts  xv, 
82) ;  they  resolve  difficulties,  and  repress  scandals  that 
arise,  and,  if  necessary,  they  excommunicate  him  who  de 
serves  to  be  cut  off  from  the  communion  of  the  faithful,  till 
he  truly  repents ;  they  command  the  Christians  to  avoid 
teachers  who  were  not  sent  by  Christ  (Tit.  iii,  10),  and 
to  receive  their  oral  traditions  as  well  as  their  written  in 
structions  (2  Thess.  ii,   14);  they  clearly  teach  that  the 
Church  is  founded  upon  the  apostolic  ministry  (Eph.  ii, 
20) ;  that  Christ  appointed  apostles,  pastors,  doctors,  in  a 
word,  a  teaching  and  governing  body,  to  accomplish  the 
work  of  sanctifying  the  elect,  that  "we  be  not  carried 
about  with  every  wind  of  doctrine"  (Eph.  iv,   12-14); 
they  also  teach  that  the  Holy  Ghost  has  appointed  bishops 
to  rule  the  Church  of  God  (Acts  xx,  28)  ;  that  the  read 
ing  of  holy  Scripture  "  is  profitable,"  to  those  especially 
who  "  teach  and  reprove  others,"  yet  that  they  contain 
difficult  passages,  "  which  the  unlearned  wrest "  from  their 
true  meaning  "  to  their   own    destruction. n  (2    Pet.    iii, 
16.)     What  is  all  this  but  precisely  what  the  bishops  ot 
the  Catholic  Church  practise  to-day  f     They  teach,  decide 
on  points  of  faith  and  morals,  give  confirmation,  ordain 
priests  ;  they  govern,  punish,  excommunicate,  grant  in 
dulgences,  recommend  the  faithful  not  to  become  familiar 
with  heretics;    they  assemble  in  council,  to  regulate  in 


matters  concerning  faith,  morals,  and  discipline  ;  and  all  this 
they  do  in  the  name  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  who  has  promised 
them  his  assistance.  They  teach  that  the  unwritten  word 
of  God  is  to  be  received  with  the  same  faith  as  the  written  ; 
and  each  bishop  says,  with  the  great  apostle,  that  he  is 
" appointed , by  the  Holy  Spirit"  to  govern  his  Church. 
Thus  we  see  that  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ,  as  described 
by  St.  Luke,  St.  Paul,  St.  James,  and  the  others,  is  pre 
cisely  the  same  as  the  Church  which  is  called  one,  holy, 
Catholic  and  Apostolic.  Now, 

9.  Why  is  the  Catholic  Church  called  Roman  ? 

fThe  Catholic  Church  is  called  Roman:  1,  because  the 
visible  head  of  the  Church  is  Bishop  of  Rome  /  2,  because 
St.  Peter  and  his  successors  fixed  their  see  in  Rome  ;  3, 
because  all  the  Catholic  Churches  in  the  world  profess  their 
union  with  the  Roman  Church. 

The  Catholic  Church  is  called  Roman,  because  at  Rome 
the  pope,  as  visible  head  of  the  Church,  has  fixed  his  see. 
St.  Peter  was  the  first  pope  and  first  bishop  of  Rome. 
After  having  preached  in  Jerusalem,  and  presided  for 
seven  years  over  the  Church  of  Antioch,  he  left  St. 
Ignatius  in  his  place  at  Antioch,  and  went  to  Rome,  where 
he  fixed  his  see.  He  was,  however,  often  absent  to 
perform  his  apostolical  duties  in  other  countries.  He 
came  to  Rome  in  A.  D.  40.  Having  remained  there  for 
some  considerable  time,  he  went  back  to  the  East,  but 
returned  to  Rome  not  long  after.  In  49,  on  account  of 
some  tumult  raised  by  the  Jews  against  the  Christians, 
St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul  were  banished  from  Rome  by 
Claudius,  but  they  were  soon  allowed  to  return.  St. 
Peter  returned  again  to  the  East,  and  in  51  was  present 
at  the  General  Council  held  at  Jerusalem  by  the  apostles, 


where,  in  a  discourse,  he  showed  that  the  Gentile  converts 
were  not  bound  by  the  Jewish  ceremonies.  St.  Peter 
went  back  to  Rome  a  few  years  previous  to  his  martyrdom, 
in  the  reign  of  the  Emperor  Nero.  But  before  his  final 
return  thither,  he  preached  the  Gospel  over  all  Italy,  and 
likewise  in  other  provinces  of  the  West.  When  again  in 
Rome,  he  and  St.  Paul,  by  their  prayer,  put  an  end  to  the 
magical  delusions  of  Simon  Magus.  Enraged  at  this,  the 
tyrant  Nero  put  both  apostles  into  the  Mamertine  prison. 
After  an  imprisonment  of  eight  months,  St.  Peter  was 
scourged,  and  then  crucified  with  his  head  downward. 
He  chose  this  manner  of  crucifixion,  because  he  believed 
himself  unworthy  to  suffer  and  die  in  the  same  way  as 
his  divine  Master.  According  to  Eusebius  and  Others, 
he  held  possession  of  the  See  of  Rome  for  about  twenty- 
five  years,  assisted  by  St.  Paul,  who  shared  with  him 
the  honor  of  having  founded  Christian  Rome. 

St.  Peter,  then,  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles,  who  first 
occupied  the  Apostolic  See,  transmitted,  by  the  command 
of  God,  to  the  pontiffs,  who  even  to  the  end  of  time  should 
occupy  his  see,  his  primacy  in  the  apostolate  and  in  the 
pastoral  charge,  together  with  all  the  authority  which  he 
had  received  froni  God  our  Saviour.  Hence  the  Greeks, 
in  1274,  subscribed  this  profession  of  faith,  which  was 
preaented  to  them  by  Gregory  X :  "  The  holy  Roman 
Church  possesses  a  supreme  and  complete  primacy  and 
authority  over  the  whole  Catholic  Church  j  she  acknow 
ledges  truly  and  humbly  that  she  received  it,  together 
with  plenary  authority,  from  the  Saviour  himself,  in  the 
person  of  Peter,  the  Prince  or  Head  of  the  Apostles,  of 
whom  the  Roman  Pontiff  is  the  successor  j  and  as  she  is 
bound  more  than  the  other  churches  to  defend  the  truth 


of  religion,  so,  if  any  questions  arise  concerning  the  faith, 
they  ,ought  to  be  determined  by  her  judgment.  Whoever 
considers  himself  wronged  in  any  matter  which  pertains 
to  the  Church,  can  appeal  to  her  tribunal ;  and  in  all  the 
causes  which  relate  to  ecclesiastical  jurisdiction,  recourse 
may  be  had  to  her  judgment.  All  churches  are  subject 
to  her,  and  the  prelates  who  govern  them  owe  respect  and 
obedience  to  her.  The  plenitude  of  power  belongs  to  her 
in  such  a  manner,  that  the  other  churches  are  admitted  by 
her  to  a  share  in  her  solicitude.  Several  of  these,  espe 
cially  the  patriarchal  churches,  have  been  honored  with 
various  privileges  by  the  Roman  Church,  without  preju 
dice  to  her  prerogatives,  which  she  must  preserve  whether 
in  General  Councils  or  in  certain  other  cases."  (Labbe, 
t.  xi,  p.  965.) 

In  the  fourteenth  century,  it  is  true,  several  popes 
resided  at  Avignon,  in  France,  yet  they  did  not  cease, 
on  that  account,  to  be  the  Bishops  of  Rome  and  the  heirs 
of  St.  Peter.  Rome  is,  indeed,  the  capital  of  Christendom, 
and  is  justly  called  the  Eternal  City,  for  it  has  always  been 
the  centre  of  Catholic  unity,  and  the  see  of  the  successors 
of  St.  Peter. 

From  St.  Peter's  time  every  succeeding  head  of  the 
Church  was  Bishop  of  Rome,  and,  seated  in  the  Chair  of 
Peter,  governed  the  Church  as  her  Sovereign  Pontiff,  as 
the  visible  representative  of  ecclesiastical  unity,  as  the 
supreme  teacher  and  guardian  of  the  faith,  as  the  supreme 
legislator  and  interpreter  of  the  canons,  as  the  legitimate 
superior  of  all  bishops,  as  the  final  judge  of  councils, 
enjoying  the  primacy  both  of  honor  and  jurisdiction ;  so 
that  the  pagan  historian,  Ammianus  Marcellinus,  styled 
Pope  Liberius  "  the  overseer  of  the  Christian  religion  j" 


and  the  Fathers,  the  Councils,  the  Doctors  of  the  Church, 
ecclesiastical  writers,  and  the  saints  of  all  ages,  have  called 
the  Bishop  of  Rome  pope,  that  is,  father,  because  he  is 
the  common  spiritual  father  of  all  Christians.  They  have 
called  him  also  the  Most  Holy  Father,  the  Universal  Bishop 
of  the  Church,  the  Vicar  of  Christ,  the  Pastor  of  pastors, 
the  Judge  of  judges.  They  have  given  him  the  ti'tle  of 
Sovereign  Pontiff,  because  he  is  superior  to  all  other  pon 
tiffs  or  bishops,  not  only  as  to  honor,  but  also  as  to  juris 
diction,  and  because  he  exercises  supreme  authority  in  the 
Universal  Church.  On  account  of  this  primacy  or  suprem 
acy  which  the  head  of  the  Church  has  received  immediately 
from  God,  in  the  person  of  Peter,  the  Council  of  Trent  de 
fines  that  the  faithful,  of  whatever  dignity, — be  they  kinga 
or  emperors,  bishops,  primates,  or  patriarchs, — owe  him  a 
real  and  true  obedience.  The  same  council  declares  that 
it  pertains  to  him  to  provide  the  churches  with  pastors  to 
determine  the  impediments  which  make  marriage  null  and 
to  dispense  with  them,  to  convoke  a  General  Council, 
to  confirm  its  decrees,  to  resolve  the  doubts  raised  by  them, 
to  create  cardinals,  to  appoint  bishops,  to  watch  over  the 
reform  of  studies,  to  correct  abuses,  to  decide  the  most 
grave  causes  in  which  bishops  are  concerned ;  he  can 
reserve  to  himself  the  absolving  from  certain  grave  crimes, 
absolve  those  who  have  possessed  themselves  of  ecclesias 
tical  property :  without  his  judgment  nothing  of  impor 
tance  can  be  established  in  the  Church. 

Here  it  may  be  asked  : 

10.  Did  this  power  of  the  pope  also  include  the  power 
to  depose  temporal  rulers  ? 

The  London  Tablet,  Dec.  5,  1874,  answers  this  question 
as  follows : 


"  We  firmly  believe  that  the  deposing  power  actually 
exerted  by  more  than  one  Roman  Pontiff,  and  owing  its 
efficacy  to  the  spontaneous  assent  of  the  Christian  con 
science,  is  manifestly  included  among  the  gifts  of  Peter. 
We  believe  it,  among  other  reasons,  because  no  power 
can  be  wanting  to  his  supreme  jurisdiction,  of  which  the 
safety  of  the  Christian  commonwealth,  committed  to  his 
oversight,  may  at  any  time  require  the  exercise.  He  is 
God's  vicegerent.  The  Church,  which  is  God's  kingdom 
on  earth,  was  built  by  her  divine  Founder  a  upon  this 
rock."  The  Almighty  Architect  might  have  chosen  an 
other  foundation,  but  he  chose  this,  and  the  gates  of  hell 
have  not  been  able  to  subvert  it.  It  is  true  that  St.  Peter 
never  used  the  deposing  power,  but  that  was  because 
Christendom  had  not  yet  begun  to  exist ;  it  is  equally  true 
that  neither  Pius  IX  nor  any  of  his  successors  are  ever 
likely  to  use  it,  but  that  is  because  Christendom  has  ceased 
to  exist.  There  is  a  great  host  of  Christians — more  than 
ever  there  were — but  there  is  no  longer  any  Christendom. 
There  is  not  in  the  whole  world  so  much  as  a  solitary 
state,  unless  it  be  one  of  the  South  American  republics, 
which  even  professes  to  shape  its  policy  by  the  law  of 
God,  much  less  by  the  counsels  of  his  Vicar.  They  did 
so  for  many  ages,  to  their  own  advantage,  but  they 
have  ceased  to  do  it.  Only  the  Moslem  now  affects  to  do 
everything  'in  the  name  of  Allah.'  Governments  are  no 
longer  Christian.  Their  very  composition  proves  it.  Even 
in  the  cabinet  of  one  who  is  called,  as  if  in  derision,  *  His 
Apostolic  Majesty,'  there  are  two  Jews.  Every  one 
knows  how  the  rest  are  formed ;  they  might  all  write  over 
their  council  doors,  if  they  were  candid  enough,  '  No 
truth  here.'  For  them,  as  Gibbon  would  say,  all  religions 


are  *  equally  true  a,nd  equally  false.'  Some  princes  encour 
age  their  own  children  to  change  their  religion,  in  o'rder 
to  make  a  good  marriage.  Others,  while  professing  to 
honor  Peter,  sit  down  to  table  with  miscreants  whom  he 
has  excommunicated.  Christendom  no  longer  exists.  If 
it  did,  certain  crowned  malefactors,  who  make  a  treaty 
with  Atheists  and  Freemasons,  and  persecute  bishops,  would 
probably  find  that,  as  St.  Ambrose  says,  'Peter  is  not  dead.' 
But  if  Christendom  should  ever  be  restored,  which  does  not 
seem  likely,  we  profess  our  unhesitating  conviction  that 
the  deposing  power  of  God's  Vicar  would  revive  with  it. 

u  When  states  were  wholly  Catholic,  as  they  were  for 
a  good  many  centuries,  when  all  men  believed,  with  the 
saints  and  martyrs,  that  it  was  to  the  pope  that  the 
Almighty  said,  '  Whatsoever  thou  shalt  bind  on  earth, 
shall  be  bound  in  heaven  j?  when  the  supreme  authority 
of  the  Holy  See  was  at  once  the  bulwark  of  thrones,  and 
part  of  the  public  law  of  Europe  5  when  Csesar  said  to 
bishops,  presided  over  by  the  papal  legates,  as  Constan- 
tine,  the  master  of  the  world,  said  to  the  Fathers  at  Nice, 
6  Nos  a  vobis  rede  judicamurj — nobody  disputed  that,  as 
members  of  the  Christian  commonwealth,  kings  and  princes 
were  subject,  by  the  law  of  God,  to  the  authority  of  the 
Roman  Pontiff.  It  was  his  office  to  restrain,  by  all  the 
means  which  the  decree  of  God  and  the  faith  of  Christians 
gave  him,  any  abuse  of  their  power  by  which  either  the 
interests  of  religion  or  the  just  rights  of  Christian  people 
were  prejudiced.  He  was  at  once  the  guardian  of  the 
faith,  and  the  only  invincible  enemy  of  tyrants.  The 
most  eminent  non-Catholic  writers  have  confessed  that 
Christianity  was  preserved  from  what  Guizot  calls  '  the 
tyranny  of  brute  force/  mainly  by  that  vigilant  and  fear- 

CREED.  209 

less  intervention  of  the  Holy  See,  for  which,  as  some  of 
them  sorrowfully  admit,  no  substitute  can  now  be  found. 
But  it  is  evident  that  the  extreme  penalty  of  deposition, 
the  application  of  which  is  now  transferred  from  the  pope 
to  the  mob,  could  only  be  enforced  in  a  state  of  society 
which  has  long  since  passed  away,  and  is  never  likely  to 

"  The  only  remonstrants  against  the  spiritual  authority, 
even  when  its  judgments  were  most  formidable,  were 
worthless  princes,  who  wished  to  filch  the  revenues  of 
episcopal  sees,  and  a  few  depraved  prelates,  who  wished 
to  curry  favor  with  such  princes.  The  Church  lived  in 
those  days,  as  Emerson  observes  with  true  American 
candor,  i  by  the  love  of  the  people?  They  knew  who 
was  their  friend.  His  judgments  had  no  terror  for  them. 
The  modern  jealousy  of  the  Holy  See,  which  has  only 
transferred  all  spiritual  authority,  as  Professor  Merivale 
remarks,  i  from  the  Church  to  the  State,'  has  been  as 
fatal  to  liberty  as  to  religion.  The  state  most  violently 
opposed  to  the  Holy  See  at  this  day  is  Prussia,  and  the 
only  representatives  of  liberty  in  Prussia  are  the  Catholic 
bishops  and  clergy.  Even  German  Protestants  witnessr 
against  the  ruthless  enslavement  of  mind  and  conscience 
in  a  country  in  which  only  two  institutions  now  remain  : 
the  barrack  and  the  goal.  What  Neander  would  have 
said  of  the  present  tyranny  in  Prussia,  we  may  judge 
from  his  own  words  :  6  Beautiful/  he  exclaims,  '  and  worthy 
the  frankness  becoming  a  bishop,  is  the  language  of  St. 
Hilary  of  Poitiers  to  Constantius.'  And  what  did  the 
saint  say  to  Caesar,  who  ruled  after  the  fashion  of  Bismarck 
and  his  master  ?  l  Tyrannus  non  jam  humanorum,  sed  dim- 
norum  es.  Antichristum  prcevenis  et  arcanorum  mysteria 


ejus  operaris.'  It  was  a  strong  thing  to  say  to  Caesar 
sitting  in  his  purple  robe.  If  St.  Hilary  lived  in  our  day, 
he  would  soon  be  in  a  Prussian  prison,  with  the  learned 
Neander,  if  he  ventured  to  applaud  him,  in  the  next  cell. 
It  was  the  popes,  says  Hurter,  who  saved  Christianity 
6  from  the  tyranny  of  the  temporal  power,  and  from  becom 
ing  a  mere  State  function,  like  religion  among  the  Pagans.7 
It  was  well  for  Hurter  that  his  lot  was  not  cast  in  the 
age  of  Bismarck.  Even  Leibnitz  would  have  been  deemed 
a  mortal  enemy  by  the  Prussian  Constantius.  It  was  the 
inventor  of  the  integral  calculus  who  actually  proposed, 
though  a  Protestant,  '  to  establish  in  Rome  a  tribunal  to 
decide  controversies  between  sovereigns,  and  to  make  the 
pope  its  president,  as  he  really  did,  in  former  ages,  figure 
as  judge  between  Christian  princes.  But  ecclesiastics 
should,  at  the  same  time,  resume  their  ancient  authority, 
and  an  interdict  or  an  excommunication  should  make  kings 
and  kingdoms  tremble,  as  in  the  days  of  Nicholas  I  or 
Gregory  VII.'  Leibnitz  would  evidently  be  out  of  place 
in  contemporary  Prussian  society.  They  have  no  room 
there  for  such  as  he  was,  except  in  their  prisons  j  and 
those  cheerful  abodes  will  soon  be  too  full  to  hold  any  more. 
"  If  popes  no  longer  depose  bad  princes  i  by  the  author 
ity  of  Peter/  there  are  others  who  depose  good  ones 
without  any  authority  at  all.  In  order  to  depose  them 
more  effectually,  they  have  taken  to  cutting  off  their  heads. 
Cromwell  and  his  fellows  did  it  in  England ;  Mirabeau  and 
his  friends  in  France.  These  energetic  anti-popes  did 
not  object  at  all  to  deposition,  provided  it  was  inflicted 
by  themselves.  They  object  to  it  still  less  now ;  it  has 
become  a  habit.  Englishmen  deposed  James  II,  after 
murdering  his  father,  and  put  a  Dutchman  in  his  place, 

CREED.  211 

In  other  lands  they  are  always  deposing  somebody.  The 
earth  is  strewn  with  deposed  sovereigns.  Sometimes 
they  depose  one  another,  in  order  to  steal  what  does  not 
belong  to  them.  One  of  them  has  deposed  the  pope 
himself,  at  least  for  a  time,  and  all  the  rest  clap  their 
hands.  They  do  not  see  that  by  this  last  felony  they  have 
undermined  every  throne  in  Europe.  Perhaps  in  a  few- 
years  there  will  not  be  a  king  left  to  be  deposed.  Since 
the  secular  was  substituted  everywhere  for  the  spiritual 
authority,  kings  have  fared  badly.  The  popes  only  rebuked 
them  when  they  did  evil ;  the  mob  is  less  discriminating. 
And  the  difference  between  the  deposing  power  of  the 
popes  and  that  of  the  mob  is  this,  that  the  first  used  it, 
like  fathers,  for  the  benefit  of  religion  and  society ;  the 
second,  like  wild  beasts,  for  the  destruction  of  both." 

There  is,  therefore,  among  all  true  Catholics,  but  one 
unanimous  voice  as  to  the  supreme  authority  of  the  head 
of  the  Roman  Church,  viz. :  that  Jesus,  the  Son  of  God 
and  of  man,  gave  to  Peter  and  his  successors  that  fulness 
of  jurisdiction  and  power  which  will  keep  the  Church  in 
safety  till  he  comes  back  in  the  day  of  judgment  j  and  to 
deny  that  supreme  authority  is  to  be  at  sea,  drifting  about 
with  the  currents  of  opinion,  and  tossed  on  the  troubled 
waves  of  Protestantism,  Calvinism,  Quakerism,  Mormon- 
ism,  Spiritualism,  and  all  the  other  isms  and  sophisms. 

Now,  in  order  that  the  great  power  and  authority 
bestowed  upon  St.  Peter  should  be  often  present  to  our 
minds,  that  apostle  is  represented  with  keys  in  his  hand. 
He  holds  two :  one  a  symbol  of  his  jurisdiction,  and  the 
other  of  his  orders.  One  key  is  turned  toward  heaven, 
to  show  that  St.  Peter  had  the  power  of  opening  or 
closing  itj  the  other  is  directed  toward  the  earth,  to 


show  that  he  had  full  authority  over  the  faithful,  and  the 
power  of  imposing  laws  upon  them. 

The  pope,  however,  is  not  only  the  head  of  the  Church, 
he  is  also  a  temporal  prince.  In  the  establishment  of  his 
Church,  our  divine  Saviour  did  not  consult  the  civil 
authorities ;  neither  Herod  nor  Pilate  was  asked  for  ap 
proval.  If  those  rulers  had  not  lived  at  all,  they  could  not 
have  been  more  completely  ignored,  so  far  as  establishing 
the  Church,  preaching  and  teaching  the  doctrine  of  Christ, 
and  performing  all  the  offices  of  the  Christian  ministry,  go. 
Csesar  and  his  officers  had  no  voice  in  this.  They  had 
authority  in  the  kingdoms  of  the  world,  but  none  what 
ever  in  the  kingdom  of  God.  It  was  established,  and  to 
be  spread  and  to  last  forever,  whether  they  willed  it  or  not. 
The  apostles,  especially  the  head  of  the  apostles,  and 
their  successors,  are  to  exercise  their  power  in  perfect 
freedom.  They  are  freely  to  teach  what  is  true,  freely  to 
condemn  what  is  false  j  freely  to  denounce  the  crimes  of 
men  and  of  governments ;  freely  to  constitute  the  hierarchy 
in  various  countries  j  freely  to  let  persons  have  recourse  to 
them  in  their  doubts,  and  freely  to  reply  to  them  ;  freely 
to  condemn  those  who  refuse  obedience  to  the  Church ; 
freely  to  separate  from  the  Church  those  who  have 
separated  themselves  from  her,  by  persisting  in  error  or 
in  disobedience ;  freely  to  define  religious  and  moral  truths, 
that  is,  give  laws  binding  on  minds  in  believing,  and  on 
consciences  in  acting.  The  ruler  of  nations  and  the  lord 
of  many  legions,  though  he  had  not  been  consulted  at  all 
in  the  establishment  of  the  Church,  was  bound  to  hear  her 
voice,  like  the  humblest  peasant,  and  submit  his  soul  to 
her  guidance,  under  pain  of  eternal  banishment  from  the 
presence  of  God.  He  might  pretend  to  command  when 


it  was  his  duty  to  obey,  but  the  mistake  was  sure  to  be 
disastrous  to  himself,  as  indeed  the  final  result  proved. 

When  the  divine  Master  had  finished  his  work,  and  his 
Vicar  reigned  in  his  place,  the  independence  of  the  spiritual 
power,  in  its  own  province,  was,  if  possible,  still  more 
evident.  We  know  what  was  the  attitude  of  the  apostles 
toward  the  State.  In  questions  of  the  soul,  they  set  it  at 
naught.  They  taught  loyalty  to  Caesar  in  all  that  relig 
ion  does  not  condemn,  as  their  successors  do  at  this  day, 
so  that  among  Christians  was  found  a  host  of  martyrs, 
but  not  a  single  conspirator  or  assassin  f  but  when  Csesar 
required  disloyalty  to  God,  the  apostles  and  the  Christians 
bade  him  defiance.  They  knew  the  penalty,  and  accepted 
it.  It  was  perfectly  understood  that  Csesar,  like  other 
beasts  of  prey,  had  claws  and  teeth,  and  could  use  them. 
He  did  use  them  with  considerable  effect.  He  had  soldiers, 
lictors,  prisons,  axes,  and  scaffolds.  But  such  engines, 
destructive  as  they  were,  could  only  hurt  the  flesh ;  and 
the  apostles  and  Christians  were  told  not  to  "  fear  them 
that  kill  the  body,  and  are  not  able  to  kill  the  soul.'7 
They  were  warned  that  they  would  be  "  brought  before 
governors,"  but  that  they  were  not  even  to  take  thought 
what  they  should  say.  The  divine  Master  would  teach 
them  what  to  say. 

The  conditions  of  the  combat  between  Christ  and  Csesar, 
between  the  spiritual  and  the  secular  power,  will  never  cease. 
In  order  that  the  head  of  his  Church  might  enjoy  perfect 
freedom  in  the  exercise  of  his  power,  under  God's  provi 
dence  the  pope  became  a  temporal  prince.  He  obtained 
his  temporal  power  before  Constantine  abandoned  Rome, 
and  it  was  confirmed  and  completed  by  Charlemagne, 
more  than  a  thousand  years  ago.  God  inspired  Christian 


princes  to  attach  a  principality  to  the  Holy  See,  calleM  the 
Patrimony  of  St.  Peter,— the  States  of  the  Church  :  "  It 
has  been  the  will  of  God,"  says  Pius  IX,  "  that  the  princes 
of  the  earth,  even  those  who  are  not  in  communion  with 
the  Church  of  Rome,  should  defend  and  maintain  the 
temporal  sovereignty  of  the  Holy  See,  which  has  been, 
by  a  disposition  of  divine  Providence,  enjoyed  for  many 
centuries  by  the  Roman  Pontiffs.  The  possession  of 
that  temporal  dominion  enables  the  reigning  pope  to 
exercise  his  supreme  apostolical  authority  in  the  govern 
ment  of  the  Universal  Church  with  that  liberty  which  is 
necessary  to  fulfil  the  duties  of  his  apostolical  office,  and 
procure  the  salvation  of -the  flock  of  Christ."  (Allocution, 
May  10th,  1850.) 

The  pope,  then,  possesses  his  territory  under  a  title 
higher  and  older  than  any  government  in  the  world. 
Napoleon  I  sought  to  destroy  this  temporal  power  of  the 
pope,  but  was  forced  at  last  to  admit  the  necessity  of  papal 
independence :  "  The  pope,"  he  said,  "  is  not  at  Paris ; 
it  is  well :  we  reverence  his  authority  precisely  because  he 
is  not  at  Vienna  nor  at  Madrid.  At  Vienna  and  at 
Madrid  they  feel  the  same  with  regard  to  Paris.  It  is, 
therefore,  better  that  he  should  be  neither  with  us  nor 
with  any  of  our  rivals,  but  in  Rome,  his  ancient  seat, 
holding  an  equal  balance  between  all  sovereigns.  This  is 
the  work  of  the  centuries,  and  they  have  done  well.  The 
temporal  power  is  the  wisest  and  best  institution  that  could 
be  imagined  in  the  government  of  souls." 

The  temporal  dominion  of  the  pope  being  a  moral 
necessity  for  the  well-being  of  the  Church,  the  Holy 
Father  and  the  bishops  have  pronounced  anathema  against 
all  those  who  impugn  it.  History,  indeed,  sometimes 


show!  us  the  Supreme  Pontiff  under  another  aspect. 
•There  were  times  when  his  triple  crown  crumbled,  when 
his  sceptre  shrunk  to  a  hollow  reed,  when  his  throne  be 
came  a  shadow,  and  his  home  a  dungeon.  But  God  per 
mitted  this  only  to  show  us  how  inestimable  is  human 
virtue,  when  compared  with  human  grandeur.  Human 
grandeur  may  perish,  but  virtue  is  immortal.  God  per 
mitted  it,  to  prove  to  the  scoffing  infidel  world  that  the 
simplicity  of  the  patriarchs,  the  piety  of  the  saints,  the 
patience  of  the  martyrs,  have  not  as  yet  vanished  from  the 
earth.  God  permitted  it,  in  fine,  to  show  the  rabid  enemies 
of  our  holy  faith  that,  though  our  common  father  were  in 
chains,  though  his  motives  were  calumniated,  and  though 
his  kingly  power  were  destroyed,  yet  the  Church,  the  holy 
Catholic  Church  of  Jesus  Christ,  is  still  able  to  guide  and 
to  support  her  children,  and  to  confound,  if  she  cannot 
reclaim,  her  enemies. 

The  pontiff  is  firm,  immovable  as  a  rock.  No  threats 
can  awe,  no  promise  can  tempt,  no  sufferings  can  appall 
him.  With  exile,  the  dungeon,  and  death  before  his  eyes, 
he  dashes  away  the  proffered  cup,  in  which  the  pearl  of 
his  liberty  is  to  be  dissolved :  "  Non  possumus"  is  his 
bold  and  noble  language.  "  We  can  die,  but  we  cannot 
give  up  the  rights  of  the  Church.'7  The  Catholic  world 
cannot,  and  will  not,  submit  and  agree  to  the  sacrilegious 
occupation  of  the  Papal  States  by  any  government.  The 
voices  of  more  than  two  hundred  millions  of  Catholics  will 
ring  from  every  land  under  the  sun,  demanding  perfect 
liberty  of  action  for  their  common  spiritual  father,  and 
the  undisturbed  possession  of  the  Patrimony  of  St.  Peter. 
The  spirit  of  opposition  to  the  temporal  power  of  the  pope 
is  but  the  spirit  of  modern  Paganism,  which  aims  at  the 


destruction  of  civil  government,  the  rights  of  justice,  the 
law  of  God  and  of  man.  All  justice-loving  men  admit 
this.  The  opposers  of  the  temporal  power  start  from  the 
pagan  principle  of  separation  of  the  temporal  from  the 
spiritual ;  they  are  either  bigots,  or  infidels,  or  vain  and 
frothy  theorizers,  or  corrupt  politicians  of  the  Masonic 
sect,  or  restless  demagogues ;  and  if  they  be  Christians, 
their  faith  sits  as  lightly  on  their  conscience  as  a  feather 
on  the  back  of  a  whirlwind:  they  are  all  pervaded  by  the 
pestilential  spirit  of  modern  Paganism.  When  a  govern 
ment  becomes  indifferent  in  religious  matters,  wishes  to 
assume  supreme  control  over  the  asylums  of  suffering 
humanity,  secularizes  churches  and  schools,  caring  only 
for  the  mere  literary  or  arithmetical  education  of  its  sub 
jects  ;  when  it  makes  laws  infringing  on  the  rights  of 
conscience  or  property ;  when  it  interferes  with  the  sacra- 
mepts  and  the  rites  of  the  Church,  then  it  is  pagan  in 
spirit.  It  endeavors  to  prevent  men  from  attaining  the 
end  of  creation ;  it  ceases  to  be  a  free  government,  or  to 
fulfil  the  end  for  which  all  governments  were  instituted. 
Every  temporal  ruler  who  denies  the  pope's  rights  to  his 
temporal  power,  will  soon  find  his  own  abolished.* 

*  When  the  pope  is  elected  according  to  established  regulations,  and 
if  he  consents  to  his  election,  he  becomes  at  once  invested  with  author 
ity  over  the  Universal  Church,  though  he  be  neither  a  bishop  nor  a 
priest,  nor  deacon,  nor  subdeacon,  but  a  mere  cleric.  He  is  capable 
of  performing  every  act  belonging  to  papal  jurisdiction;  he  can,  for 
instance,  grant  indulgences,  pass  censures,  grant  dispensations, 
appoint  canons,  institute  bishops,  create  cardinals.  But  the  peculiar 
power  of  the  priesthood  and  the  episcopacy,  such  as  forgiving  sins, 
administering  the  sacraments  of  confirmation  and  of  holy  orders,  he 
cannot  exercise  until  he  has  first  been  consecrated.  From  what  has 
been  said,  it  follows  that  the  Papacy,  the  Sovereign  Pontificate,  is  a 
dignity,  not  of  orders,  but  of  jurisdiction.  If  the  pope  be  a  bishop  at 
the  time  of  his  election,  he  receives  no  other  consecration.  Being 


As  the  Papacy  is  of  divim  right,  so  also  is  the  Episco 
pacy  of  divine  right.  Christ  willed  that  there  should  be 
bishops  to  assist  the  pope  in  the  government  of  the  Church. 
For  this  reason  St.  Paul  says,  "  The  Holy  Ghost  hath 
placed  you  bishops  to  rule  the  Church  of  God."  The  word 
u  bishop "  means  overseer,  inspector,  or  superintendent. 

The  choice  of  a  bishop  has  to  be  made,  or  at  least  to 
be  confirmed,  by  the  pope  ;  from  him  each  bishop  holds 
his  jurisdiction  6ver  the  territory  assigned  to  him  by 
the  pope.  Episcopal  jurisdiction  has  been  instituted  by 
Christ  in  such  a  manner  that  each  bishop  should  receive 
his  jurisdiction  from  the  pope,  who  makes  the  bishops 
sharers  in  the  power  of  the  keys  which  Christ  gave  to 
Peter  alone,  and,  in  his  person,  to  his  successors  :  "  The 
Lord,"  says  Tertullian,  "  has  given  the  keys  to  St.  Peter, 
and,  through  him,  to  the  Church."  St.  Gregory  of  Nyssa 
says  the  same,  in  other  words :  "  Through  Peter,  Christ 
has  given  the  keys  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven  to  the 
bishops."  As  Peter  and  his  successors  alone  have  re 
ceived  the  keys  of  the  kingdom  of  God,  they  alone  can 
communicate  the  use  of  them  to  the  rest  of  the  pastors. 
From  Peter  and  his  successors  the  bishops  hold  the 

clothed  with  the  episcopal  character,  he  is  on  an  equality  with  the 
other  bishops;  but  as  pope,  and  vested  with  the  dignity  and  authority 
of  head  of  the  Church,  he  is  superior  to  all  the  pastors  of  the  Church. 
If,  at  the  time  of  his  election,  the  pope  is  not  in  holy  orders,  he  cao 
receive  them  all  on  the  same  day.  The  privilege  of  consecrating  a 
pope  who  is  no  bishop  at  the  time  of  his  election,  belongs  to  the  Bishop 
of  Ostia. 

When  the  pope  is  elected  he  changes  his  name,  because  he  is  the 
successor  of  St.  Peter,  whose  name  was  changed  by  Jesus  Christ. 

The  pope  can  be  taken  from  any  rank  of  the  ecclesiastical  hierarchy. 
In  the  early  ages  of  the  Church,  subdeacons  were  but  seldom  raised  to 
the  dignity  of  the  Papacy ;  but  deacons  were  often  elected.  Priests 
were  seldom  chosen  to  fill  that  high  office,  and  the  appointment  of 


jurisdiction  wliich  they  exercise  in  their  dioceses  5  it  is  by 
him  that  they  hold,  in  their  dioceses,  the  place  of  Christ, 
as  priests,  as  pontiffs,  as  doctors,  as  legislators,  as  judges, 
as  heads  and  pastors  of  the  faithful  under  their  jurisdiction, 
and  are,  as  St.  Paul  says,  ambassadors  for  Jesus  Christ, 
God's  coadjutors,  who  exhort  the  faithful  by  their  mouth ; 
for  all  this  is  what  constitutes  jurisdiction.  This  ddetrine 
has  been  solemnly  declared  by  Pius  IX,  in  his  Encyclical 
Letter  of  Nov.  9th,  184G,  addressed  to  the  archbishops 
and  bishops  of  the  Catholic  Church :  "  Come  with  an 
open  heart,"  he  says,  "  and  with  full  confidence,  to  the  See 
of  the  blessed  Peter,  Prince  of  the  Apostles,  the  centre  of 
Catholic  unity,  and  the  summit  of  the  episcopacy,  whence 
the  episcopacy  itself  derives  its  origin  and  its  authority.''7 
Episcopal  consecration,  however,  is  not  necessary  for 

bishops  to  it  was  of  very  rare  occurrence.  The  first  pope  raised  from 
the  episcopal  office  to  the  papal  throne  was  Formosa,  Bishop  of  Oporto, 
who  was  elected  in  891.  The  discipline  of  the  Church,  in  this  respect, 
has  undergone  a  great  change;  for,  from  about  the  end  of  the  thirteenth 
century,  it  was  the  ordinary  practice  to  select  the  pope  from  among  the 
bishops,  and  from  1592  to  1775  we  find  but  three  popes  elected  who 
were  no  bishops  at  the  time  of  their  election.  In  our  times,  Clement 
XIV,  Pius  V,  and  Gregory  XVI,  were  tho  only  persons  who  were  sim 
ple  priests  at  the  time  of  their  elevation  to  the  Papacy.  The  pope  is 
elected  by  the  cardinals.  For  many  centuries  the  pope  was  elected 
by  the  Roman  clergy,  and  the  faithful  took  a  very  active  part  in  the 
election;  but,  for  many  years  past,  the  election  has  been  confined  to 
the  cardinals,  who  are  the  princes  and  senators  of  the  Church,  and  are 
vested  with  a  dignity  inferior  only  to  that  of  the  pope. 

The  learned  are  divided  in  their  opinions  in  reference  to  the  origin 
of  cardinals,  and  the  derivation  of  the  name  cardinal,  Some  think 
that  cardinal  comes  from  the  word  cardo,  cardinalis,  a  hinge  on  which 
a  gate  or  a  door  turns;  because  the  cardinals  are  the  hinges  or  pivots 
on  which  the  government  of  the  Church  rolls.  According  to  Baronius, 
Bellarmin,  and  other  liturgical  writers,  the  officiating  priests  of  the 
parishes  and  churches  of  Rome  were  the  first  cardinals;  and  they  were 
so  called  because,  when  they  accompanied  the  pope  to  the  altar,  they 

CREED.  219 

the  exercise  of  episcopal  jurisdiction  ;  all  that  is  neces 
sary  is,  that  the  election  of  a  bishop  should  be  confirmed 
by  the  pope.  This  confirmation  of  the  pope  gives  to  the 
bishop-elect  canonical  institution,  and  confers  on  him  juris 
diction  over  all  the  faithful  of  the  territory  which  has  been 
assigned  to  him.  This  jurisdiction,  received  from  the  pope, 
may  also  be  taken  away  by  the  pope.  Bishops,  however, 
cannot  be  deprived  of  the  power  which  is  essentially  con 
nected  with  orders  and  the  episcopal  character,  because 
that  power  is  received  immediately  from  God.  Should, 
therefore,  a  bishop  become  a  heretic,  he  still  retains 
his  episcopal  character,  in  virtue  of  which  he  validly, 
though  unlawfully,  confers  confirmation,  holy  orders,  and 
offers  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass. 

stood  ad  cornua,  that  is,  at  the  corners  or  angles  of  it.  Besides  the 
churches  served  by  priests,  there  were  a  great  many  hospitals,  the 
administration  of  which  was  intrusted  to  deacons.  These  deacons  also 
attended  the  pope  whenever  he  officiated,  and,  with  the  priests  of  the 
parishes,  stood  at  the  corners  of  the  altar;  hence,  the  distinction 
between  the  cardinal  priests  and  the  cardinal  deacons.  The  titular 
bishops  of  the  sees  in  the  vicinity  of  Rome,  called  suburbicarian 
bishops,  attended  the  pope  on  all  solemn  ceremonies,  and  took  up 
their  positions,  like  the  priests  and  deacons  of  whom  we  have  just 
spoken,  at  the  corners  of  the  altar,  and  hence  the  origin  of  cardinal 
archbishops.  The  latter,  in  virtue  of  their  episcopal  consecration, 
have  always  taken  precedence  over  the  cardinal  priests  and  cardinal 

The  dignity  of  cardinal,  in  the  sense  in  which  that  word  is  now 
understood,  is  the  highest  in  the  Church,  next  to  that  of  the  pope. 
The  cardinals  are  the  princes  and  senators  of  the  Church,  the  coun 
cillors  of  the  pope,  his  coadjutors  and  vicars  in  the  functions  of  the 
Sovereign  Pontificate.  They  form  the  consistory,  or  the  council  of  the 
pope,  who  selects  them  from  all  nations,  to  aid  him  in  the  government 
of  the  Church. 

By  a  Bull  of  Sixtus  V,  published  in  1586,  the  number  of  cardinals 
was  fixed  at  seventy.  They  are  divided  into  three  orders,  namely:  six 
cardinal  bishops,  fifty  cardinal  priests,  and  fourteen  cardinal  deacons. 


All  bishops  are  on  an  equality  as  to  their  episcopal 
character,  but  the  jurisdiction  of  some, — of  patriarchs, 
metropolitans,  and  archbishops, — is  more  extended  than 
that  of  others.  This  privilege  of  greater  power  is  conferred 
by  the  pope  alone,  as  he  may  think  fit  to  grant  to  this 
or  that  bishop  a  greater  or  less  share  of  the  supreme 
authority  which  he  holds  over  all  the  churches. 

In  the  early  ages  of  the  Church,  the  title  patriarch 
(sovereign  father,  chief  father)  was  given  to  the  titular 
bishops  of  the  sees  of  the  most  important  cities,  such  as 
Alexandria,  Constantinople,  Jerusalem,  and  Antioch.  The 
Patriarch  of  Rome  has  always  been  considered  the  universal 
patriarch.  The  bishops  presiding  over  the  capital  cities 
of  the  empire  were  called  metropolitans,  but,  in  later  times, 
archbishops,  that  is,  chief  bishops.  The  patriarchal 

The  six  cardinals  of  the  first  order  are  the  Bishops  of  Ostia,  Porto, 
Palestrina,  Albano,  Sabine,  and  Frescati,  suffragans  of  the  Patriarchate 
of  the  West.  The  cardinal  priests  are  nearly  all  bishops,  but,  as  they 
have  only  the  title  of  priests,  they  belong  to  the  second  order.  The 
cardinal  deacons  are  so  called,  because  their  title  is  only  that  of 

In  the  council  held  at  Lyons,  in  1248,  Pope  Innocent  IV  presented 
to  the  cardinals  the  red  hat,  as  a  sign  of  their  being  obliged,  if  neces 
sary,  to  shed  their  blood  for  the  cause  of  God  and  of  his  Church.  In 
1464,  Paul  III  presented  them  with  the  red  cassock  and  cap.  In  1630, 
the  title  of  Eminence  was  given  to  them  exclusively,  by  an  order  of 
Urban  VIII.  But  the  choicest  and  most  glorious  of  tlieir  privileges  is 
that  of  electing  the  pope.  The  cardinals  cannot,  whilst  the  Holy  See  is 
vacant,  exercise  papal  jurisdiction,  nor  have  they  the  power  of  making 
laws,  unless  the  interests  of  religion  may  urgently  require  it.  ( Collegium 
Cardinalium  sede  papali  vacante  nullam  hdbet  potestatem  condendi  leges. — 
llleiffenstuel.)  The  body  of  cardinals  is  called  the  College  of  Cardinals, 
or  Sacred  College.  The  assembly  of  cardinals,  when  they  meet  for  the 
purpose  of  electing  a  pope,  takes  the  name  of  Conclave.  The  word 
conclave  is  also  applied  to  the  place  in  which  they  meet  for  the  purpose 
of  the  election,  which  is  now  the  Quirinal  Palace,  where  as  many  rooms 
have  been  prepared  as  there  are  cardinals,  and  where  they  remain  shut 


churches  were  established  by  the  Holy  See,  wherein  the 
power  rests  of  extending  or  limiting  the  jurisdiction  of 
any  bishop  ;  for,  "everything,"  says  St.  Leo,  "  which 
Christ  has  given  to  the  other  bishops,  has  been  given 
through  St.  Peter." 

Besides  the  pope  and  the  bishops,  there  are  other 
legitimate  pastors,  called  parish  priests,  who  are  subject  to 
their  respective  bishops  ;  for,  as  the  bishop  possesses  the 
plenitude  of  the  priesthood,  he  enjoys  by  divine  right,  that 
is,  by  Christ's  institution,  a  superiority  not  only  of  prece 
dence  and  of  honor,  but  even  of  authority,  over  all  his 
priests,  who,  without  his  good-will  and  pleasure,  can  do 
nothing  in  regard  to  ecclesiastical  matters.  He  is  the 
pastor  of  his  whole  diocese.  He  can,  therefore,  give  to 
this  or  that  priest  jurisdiction  more  or  less  extended. 

up  till  the  election  has  taken  place.  They  meet  once  a  day  in  the  chapel 
of  the  palace,  where  a  scrutiny  is  made  of  their  votes,  which  are  writ 
ten  and  placed  in  an  urn.  This  is  repeated  every  day  till  two-thirds,  at 
least,  of  the  votes  are  in  favor  of  one  candidate  for  the  Pontifical  Chair, 
who  is  then  considered  duly  elected. 

The  pope  may  resign  his  power  and  authority.  In  the  history  of 
the  Church  we  find  more  than  one  instance  of  a  pope  laying  down  his 
dignity  and  power,  after  having  exercised  them  for  some  time.  St. 
Celestine  V,  who,  from  a  devout  hermit,  was  raised  to  the  Chair  of 
Peter,  abdicated  his  functions  after  a  reign  of  scarcely  four  months 
and  was  succeeded  by  Cardinal  Cajetan,  under  the  name  of  Boniface 
Vin.  Alarmed  at  the  responsibility  of  the  office,  and  finding  tho 
performance  of  his  usual  exercises  of  prayer  and  meditation  impractic 
able,  he  determined  to  go  back  to  his  former  solitude,  and  in  a 
Consistory  held  at  Naples,  he  abdicated  the  Pontifical  Chair,  assumed 
his  former  name  of  Peter,  put  on  again  his  old  religious  habit,  and 
entreated  those  around  to  select  an  efficient  successor.  In  the  annals 
of  the  Church  we  find  the  names  of  others  who  willingly  laid  aside 
the  power  and  authority  conferred  on  them  as  Vicars  of  Christ. 

Everything  connected  with  the  dying  moments  of  the  pope  ia 
invested  with  that  solemnity  and  gravity  suited  to  the  high  and  holy 
office  which,  during  life,  he  had  fulfilled.  His  domestic  prelates  and 


For  good  reasons  he  can  also  restrict  the  jurisdiction 
which  he  had  given,  and  even  withdraw  it  altogether. 

In  the  early  ages  of  Christianity,  there  was  but  one 
Church  in  each  city  or  town,  in  which  the  faithful 'assem 
bled  under  the  presidency  of  the  bishop.  But  when,  in 
the  course  of  time,  the  number  of  Christians  had  consider 
ably  increased,  and  bishops  were  unable  to  attend  to  the 
spiritual  wants  of  their  flock,  dioceses  were  divided  into 
parishes  5  that  is,  a  union  of  many  families,  who  assemble 
in  a  particular  church,  called  parochial  church,  to  assist 
at  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass,  and  the  other  duties  of 
religion.  Each  parochial  church  is  attended  by  a  priest 
called  the  parish  priest,  whose  duty  it  is  to  instruct  the 
people  in  the  way  of  salvation,  and  administer  to  them  the 
sacraments  of  baptism,  holy  eucharist,  penance,  matri 
mony,  and  extreme  unction.  From  a  custom  long  estab- 

the  chief  dignitaries  of  his  household  are  summoned  around  his  bed. 
He  then  makes  a  profession  of  his  faith,  grants  particular  favors  to  all 
about  him,  requests  their  prayers,  and  receives  from  the  hands  of  the 
Sacristan  Prelate  the  holy  Viaticum,  and  from  the  Cardinal  Peniten 
tiary  a  plenary  indulgence.  If  his  state  -will  allow  of  it,  he  summons 
before  him  the  College  of  Cardinals,  in  the  presence  of  whom  he 
renews  his  profession  of  faith.  He  recommends  to  them  the  Church 
of  God,  and  engages  them  to  select,  as  his  successor,  the  person  whom 
they  believe  most  worthy  to  feed  the  sheep  and  the  lambs.  The 
domestic  prelates  remain  at  his  bedside  when  he  is  in  the  agony  of 
death,  and  the  Sacristan  Priest  recites  the  recommendation  of  the 
departing  soul,  and  a  part  of  the  passion.  Scarcely  has  the  pope 
breathed  his  last,  when  the  Cardinal  Camerlingo,  preceded  by  the 
master  of  the  ceremonies,  repairs  to  the  palace,  and  takes  up  his  posi 
tion  at  the  foot  of  the  bed,  on  which  the  deceased  pope  lies,  his  face 
covered  with  a  white  veil.  The  cardinal  kneels  down,  and  offers  up  a 
short  prayer.  He  then  stands  up,  and  the  attendants  uncover  the  face 
of  the  pope.  The  Camerlingo  approaches  the  body,  strikes  three  times 
the  head  of  the  deceased  with  a  small  silver  hammer,  and  calls  out 
his  name  three  times.  He  then  turns  toward  the  assistants,  and  says, 
"  The  pope  is  indeed  dead.';  (Power's  Catechism.) 


lished,  the  parish  priest  can  dispense  his  parishioners  in 
matters  of  fasting  and  abstinence,  and  in  the  observation 
of  Sundays  and  holydays.  Parish  priests  are  often  assisted 
in  their  labor  by  other  priests,  called  vicars  or  coadjutors. 
Every  parish,  then,  has  three  immediate  pastors  :  the  pope, 
the  bishop,  and  the  parish  priest. 

All  the  particular  churches  in  the  world  profess  their 
union  with  the  Church  of  Rome.  She  is  the  mistress  of 
all  others :  "  To  be  united  with  the  See  of  Rome,"  says 
St.  Cyprian,  "  is  to  be  united  with  the  Catholic  Church, 
for  the  Church  of  Rome  is  the  principal  Church ;  the 
Bishop  of  Rome,  the  chief  bishop  ;  the  episcopal  throne 
of  this  Church  is  the  throne  of  Peter,  the  source  and 
centre  of  ecclesiastical  unity  j  and  therefore  all  bishops 
of  the  world  must,  either  directly  or  indirectly,  be  in 
communication  with  Rome,  in  order  that,  by  thus  com 
municating  with  her,  the  union  of  all  may  be  preserved." 
And  St.  Irenseus,  who  lived  in  the  first  century,  declares 
that,  instead  of  scrutinizing  the  doctrine  delivered  by 
Christ  and  his  apostles,"  and  searching  tradition,  it  is 
enough  to  inquire  what  is  the  teaching  of  the  Church  of 
Rome:  " For  it  is  necessary,"  says  he,  "that  the  whole 
Church, — that  is,  the  faithful  of  the  whole  world, — should 
be  in  communion  with  this  Church,  on  account  of  its  more 
powerful  authority  ;  in  which  communion  the  faithful  of 
the  whole  world  have  preserved  the  tradition  that  was  deliv 
ered  by  the  apostles.  When,  therefore,  you  know  the  faith 
of  this  Church,  you  have  also  learned  the  faith  of  the  others." 
(Contr.  Haeret.  iii,  3,  n.  2.)  "  Whoever,"  says  St.  Jerome, 
"  is  not  in  communion  with  the  Church  of  Rome,  is  outside 
the  Church."  (Adv.  Jovian.,  lib.  i,  n.  26.) 

The  One,  Holy,  Catholic,  Apostolic  and  Roman  Church, 


then,  unites  all  the  distinguishing  marks  of  her  divine 
institution  and  mission.  Nowhere  do  these  distinctive 
marks  of  the  Church  of  Christ  appear  with  more  lustre 
than  in  those  holy  assemblies,  called  General  Councils. 
The  Church's  unity  appears  most  strikingly  in  the  union 
of  all  the  members  to  the  same  supreme  head  who  con 
voked  the  councilr  presides  over  it,  confirms  and  Executes 
its  decrees.  The  sanctity  of  the  Church  is  clearly  seen 
in  her  condemnation  of  errors,  and  extirpation  of  abuses. 
The  catholicity  of  the  Church  is  seen  in  the  convocation 
of  the  pastors  of  the  whole  Christian  world  ;  and  the  aposto- 
licity  of  the  Church  is  manifest  in  the  assembly  of  all  the 
bishops,  the  successors  of  the  apostles,  who  are  convoked, 
heard,  and  called  to  judge  in  matters  of  faith  and  morals, 
to  regulate  discipline,  to  acknowledge  the  authority  of 
tradition,  to  confirm  the  doctrine  of  the  apostles,  and, 
after  their  return  to  their  respective  dioceses,  to  com 
municate  to  their  diocesans  "  what  hath  seemed  good  to 
the  Holy  Ghost  and  to  them  ;"  at  which  the  hearts  of  all  the 
faithful  in  the  world  are  filled  with  consolation  and  joy, 
and  deep  gratitude  toward  Jesus  Christ,  who  continues 
to  speak  to  them  through  blessed  Peter  and  the  (ither 
apostles,  in  their  lawful  successors,  the  bishops  of  the 
One,  Holy,  Catholic,  Apostolic  and  Roman  Church. 

11.  Can  Protestant  sects  claim  to  be  One,  Holy,  Catholic 
and  Apostolic  ? 

By  no  means  ;  1.  Because  they  have  no  infallible  head 
and  teacher,  and  every  Protestant  believes  tvhat  he  chooses 
to  believe.  2.  Because  the  founders  of  the  sects  u;ere  all 
wicked  men,  who  taught  impious  doctrines.  3.  Because  they 
sprang  up  only  long  after  Christ  had  founded  his  Church. 

At  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  century,  with    the 


exception  of  the  Greek  schismatics,  a  few  Lollards  in 
England,  some  Wa-ldenses  in  Piedmont,  scattered  Albi- 
genses  or  Manicheans,  and  a  few  followers  of  Huss  and 
Zisca  among  the  Bohemians,  all  Europe  was  Roman  Cath 
olic.  England,  Scotland,  Ireland.  Spain,  Portugal,  France, 
Italy,  Germany,  Switzerland,  Hungary,  Poland,  Holland, 
Denmark,  Norway,  and  Sweden, — every  civilized  nation 
was  in  the  unity  of  the  Catholic  faith*  Many  of  these 
nations  were  at  the  height  of  their  power  and  prosperity. 
Portugal  was  pushing  her  discoveries  beyond  the  Cape  of 
Good  Hope,  and  forming  Catholic  settlements  in  the  East 
Indies.  Christopher  Columbus,  a  Roman  Catholic,  had 
discovered  America,  under  the  patronage  of  the  Catholic 
Isabella  of  Spain.  England  was  in  a  state  of  great  pros 
perity.  Her  two  Catholic  Universities  of  Oxford  and 
Cambridge  contained,  at  one  time,  more  than  fifty 
thousand  students.  The  country  was  covered  with  noble 
churches,  abbeys,  and  monasteries,  and  with  hospitals, 
where  the  poor  were  fed,  clothed,  and  instructed. 

However,  the  progress  of  civilization  tended  to  foster  a 
spirit  of  pride,  and  encourage  the  lust  of  novelties.  The 
prosperity  of  the  Church  led  to  luxury,  and  in  many  cases 
to  a  relaxation  of  discipline.  There  were,  as  there  always 
have  been,  in  every  period  of  the  Church,  the  days  of 
the  apostles  not  excepted,  bad  men  in  the  Church.  The 
wheat  and  tares  grow  together  until  the  harvest.  The 
net  of  the  Church  encloses  good  and  bad.  The  writings 
of  Wickliffe,  Huss,  and  their  followers,  had  unsettled  the 
minds  of  many.  Princes  were  restive  under  the  check 
held  by  the  Church  upon  their  rapacity  and  lusts.  A 
Henry  VIII,  for  example,  wanted  to  divorce  a  wife  to 
whom  he  had  been  married  twenty  years,  that  he  might 


marry  a  young  and  pretty  one.  He  could  not  do  this,  so 
long  as  he  acknowledged  the  spiritual  supremacy  of  the 
pope.  Philip,  Landgrave  of  Hesse,  wanted  two  wives. 
No  pope  would  give  him  a  dispensation  to  marry  and  live 
with  two  women  at  once.  Then  there  were  multitudes  of 
wicked  and  avaricious  nobles,  who  wanted  but  an  excuse 
to  plunder  the  churches,  abbeys,  and  monasteries,  whose 
property  was  held  in  trust  for  the  education  of  the  people, 
and  the  care  of  the  poor,  aged,  and  sick,  all  over  Europe. 
Then  there  were  priests  and  monks  eager  to  embrace  a 
relaxed  discipline  j  and  many  people  who,  incited  by  the 
cry  of  liberty,  were  ready  to  rush  into  license,  and  make 
war  upon  every  principle  of  religion  and  social  order,  as 
soon  as  circumstances  would  favor  the  outbreak  of  this 
rebel  spirit  in  individuals  and  masses.  Now  when  God, 
says  St.  Gregory,  sees  in  the  Church  many  revelling  in 
their  vices,  and,  as  St.  Paul  observes,  believing  in  God, 
confessing  the  truth  of  his  mysteries,  but  belying  their 
faith  by  their  works,  he  punishes  them  by  permitting  that, 
after  having  lost  grace,  they  also  lose  the  holy  kn6wledge 
which  they  had  of  his  mysteries,  and  that,  without  any 
other  persecution  than  that  of  their  vices,  they  deny  the 
faith.  It  is  of  these  David  speaks,  when  he  says  :  "  De 
stroy  Jerusalem  to  its  foundations  "  (Ps.  cxxxvi,  7) ;  leave 
not  a  stone  upon  a  stone.  When  the  wicked  spirits  have 
ruined  in  a  soul  the  edifice  of  virtue,  they  sap  its  foundation, 
which  is  faith.  St.  Cyprian,  therefore,  said  :  "  Let  no 
one  think  that  virtuous  men  and  good  Christians  ever 
leave  the  Wsom  of  the  Church  j  it  is  not  the  wheat  that 
the  winds  lift,  but  the  chaff ;  trees  deeply  rooted  are  not 
blown  down  by  the  breeze,  but  those  which  have  no  roots. 
It  is  rotten  fruits  that  fall  off  the  trees,  not  sound  ones ;  bad 


Catholics  become  heretics,  as  sickness  is  engendered  by 
bad  humors.  At  first,  faith  languishes  in  them,  because  of 
their  vices ;  then  it  becomes  sick  j  next  it  dies,  because 
since  sin  is  essentially  a  blindness  of  spirit,  the  more  a 
man  sins,  the  more  he  is  blinded  ;  his  faith  grows  weaker 
and  weaker ;  the  light  of  this  divine  torch  decreases,  and 
soon  the  least  wind  of  temptation  or  doubt  suffices  to 
extinguish  it."  Witness  the  great  defection  from  faith  in 
the  sixteenth  century,  when  God  permitted  heresies  to 
arise,  in  order  to  exercise  his  justice  against  those  who 
were  ready  to  abandon  the  truth,  and  his  mercy  toward 
those  who  remained  attached  to  it  5  to  prove,  by  trials, 
those  who  were  firm  in  the  faith,  and  to  .separate  them 
from  those  who  loved  error ;  to  exercise  ,the  patience  and 
charity  of  the  Church,  and  to  sanctify  the  el6ct;  to  give 
occasion  for  the  illustration  of  religious  truth  and  the  holy 
Scripture ;  to  make  pastors  more  vigilant,  and  value  more 
the  sacred  deposit  of  faith  j  in  fine,  to  render  the  authority 
of  tradition  more  clear  and  incontestable.  Heresy  arose 
in  all  its  strength  j  Martin  Luther  was  its  ringleader  and 
its  spokesman. 

Martin  Luther,  an  Augustinian  friar,  a  bold  man  and  a 
vehement  declaimer,  having  imbibed  erroneous  sentiments 
from  the  heretical  writings  of  John  Huss  of  Bohemia,  took 
occasion,  from  the  publication  of  indulgences  promulgated 
by  Pope  Leo  X,  to  break  with  the  Catholic  Church,  and 
to  propagate  his  new  errors,  in  1517,  at  Wirtemberg,  in 
Saxony.  He  first  inveighed  against  the  abuse  of  indul 
gences  ;  then  he  called  in  question  their  efficacy  j  and  at  last 
totally  rejected  them.  He  declaimed  against  the  supremacy 
of  the  See  of  Rome,  and  condemned  the  whole  Church, 
pretending  that  Christ  had  abandoned  it,  and  that  it  wanted 


reforming,  as  well  in  faith  as  discipline.  Thus  this  new 
evangelist  commenced  that  fatal  defection  from  the  ancient 
faith,  which  was  styled  u  Reformation."  The  new  doctrines, 
being  calculated  to  gratify  the  vicious  inclinations  of  the 
human  heart,  spread  with  the  rapidity  of  an  inundation. 
Frederick,  Elector  of  Saxony,  John  Frederick,  his  suc 
cessor,  and  Philip,  Landgrave  of  Hesse,  became  Ltither's 
disciples.  Gustavus  Ericus,  King  of  Sweden,  and  Christian 
III,  King  of  Denmark,  also  declared  in  favor  of  Lut-her- 
anism.  It  secured  a  footing  in  Hungary.  Poland,  after 
tasting  a  great  variety  of  doctrines,  left  to  every  individual 
the  liberty  of  choosing  for  himself.  Muncer,  a  disciple  of 
Luther,  set  up  for  doctor  himself,  and,  with  Nicholas  Stark, 
gave  birth  to  the  §ect  of  Anabaptists,  which  was  propagated 
in  Suabia,  and  other  provinces  of  Germany,  in  the  Low 
Countries.  Calvin,  a  man  of  bold,  obstinate  spirit,  and 
indefatigable  in  his  labors,  in  imitation  of  Luther,  turned 
Reformer  also.  He  contrived  to  have  his  new  tenets  received 
at  Geneva,  in  1541.  After  his  death,  Beza  preached  the 
same  doctrine.  It  insinuated  itself  into  some  parts  of 
Germany,  Hungary,  and  Bohemia,  and  became  the  religion 
of  Holland.  It  was  imported  by  John  Knox,  an  apostate 
priest,  into  Scotland,  where,  under  the  name  of  Presby- 
terianism,  it  took  deep  root,  and  spread  over  the  kingdom. 
But,  among  the  deluded  nations,  none  drank  more  deeply 
of  the  cup  of  error  than  England.  For  many  centuries 
this  country  had  been  conspicuous  in  the  Christian  world 
for  the  orthodoxy  of  its  belief,  as  also  for  the  number  of  its 
saints.  But  by  a  misfortune  never  to  be  sufficiently 
lamented,  and  by  unfathomable  judgment  from  above,  its 
Church  shared  a  fate  which  seemed  the  least  to  threaten 
it.  The  lust  and  avarice  of  one  despotic  sovereign  threw 

CREED.  229 

down  the  fair  edifice,  and  tore  it  off  from  the  rock  on 
which  it  had  hitherto  stood.  Henry  VIII,  at  first  a 
valiant  asserter  of  the  Catholic  faith  against  Luther,  giv 
ing  way  to  the  violent  passions  which  he  had  not  sufficient 
courage  to  curb,  renounced  the  supreme  jurisdiction  which 
the  pope  had  always  held  in  the  Church,  presumed  to  arro 
gate  to  himself  that  power  in  his  own  dominions,  and  thus 
gave  a  deadly  blow  to  religion.  He  then  forced  his  subjects 
into  the  same  fatal  defection.  Once  introduced,  it  soon 
overspread  the  land.  Being,  from  its  nature,  limited  by 
no  fixed  principle,  it  has  since  taken  a  hundred  differ 
ent  shapes,  under  different  names,  such  as  :  the  Calvinists, 
Arminians,  Antinomians,  Independents,  Kilhamites,  Glass- 
ites,  Haldanites,  Bereans,  Swedenborgians,  New-Jeru- 
salemites,  Orthodox  Quakers,  Hicksites,  Shakers,  Panters, 
Seekers,  Jumpers,  Reformed  Methodists,  German  Metho 
dists,  Albright  Methodists,  Episcopal  Methodists,  Wesleyan 
Methodists,  Methodists  North,  Methodists  South,  Protestant 
Methodists,  Episcopalians,  High  Church  Episcopalians, 
Low  Church  Episcopalians,  Ritualists,  Puseyites,  Dutch 
Reformed,  Dutch  non-Reformed,  Christian  Israelites, 
Baptists,  Particular  Baptists,  Seventh-day  Baptists,  Hard 
shell  Baptists,  Softshell  Baptists,  Forty  Gallon  Baptists, 
Sixty  Gallon  Baptists,  African  Baptists,  Free-will  Baptists, 
Church  of  God  Baptists,  Regular  Baptists,  Anti-mission 
Baptists,  Six  Principle  Baptists,  River  Brethren,  Wine- 
bremarians,  Menonites,  Second  Adventists,  Millerites, 
Christian  Baptists,  Universalists,  Orthodox  Congrega- 
tionalists,  Campbellites,  Presbyterians,  Old  School  and 
New  School  Presbyterians,  Cumberland  Presbyterians, 
United  Presbyterians,  The  Only  True  Church  of  Christ, 
573  Bowery,  N.  Y.?  up  stairs,  5th  story,  Latter-day  Saints, 


Restorationists,  Schwentfelders,  Spiritualists,  Mormons, 
Christian  Perfectionists,  etc.,  etc.,  etc.  All  these  sects 
called  Protestants,  because  they  all  unite  in  protesting  are 
against  their  mother,  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  . 

Some  time  after,  when  the  reforming  spirit  had  reached 
its  full  growth,  Dudithius,  a  learned  Protestant  divine,  in 
his  epistle  to  Beza,  wrote  :  "  What  sort  of  people  are  our 
Protestants,  straggling  to  and  fro,  and  carried  about  by 
every  wind  of  doctrine,  sometimes  to  this  side,  sometimes 
to  that  ?  You  may,  perhaps,  know  what  their  sentiments 
in  matters  of  religion  are  to-day,  but  you  can  never  tell 
precisely  what  they  will  be  to-morrow.  In  what  article 
of  religion  do  these  churches  agree  which  have  cast  off 
the  Bishop  of  Rome?  Examine  all  from  top  to  bottom, 
and  you  will  scarce  find  one  thing  affirmed  by  one,  which 
was  not  immediately  condemned  by  another  for  wicked 
doctrine."  The  same  confusion  of  opinions  was  described 
by  an  English  Protestant,  the  learned  Dr.  Walton,  about 
the  middle  of  the  last  century,  in  his  preface  to  his  Polyglot, 
where  he  says  :  "  Aristarchus  heretofore  could  scarce  find 
seven  wise  men  in  Greece ;  but  with  us,  scarce  are  to  be 
found  so  many  idiots.  For  all  are  doctors,  all  are  divinely 
learned  ;  there  is  not  so  much  as  the  meanest  fanatic  who 
does  not  give  you  his  own  dreams  for  the  word  of  God. 
The  bottomless  pit  seems  to  have  been  opened,  from 
whence  a  smoke  has  arisen  which  has  darkened  the 
heaven  and  the  stars,  and  locusts  have  come  out  with 
stings,  a  numerous  race  of  sectaries  and  heretics,  who  have 
renewed  all  the  ancient  heresies,  and  invented  many  mon 
strous  opinions  of  their  own.  These  have  filled  our  cities, 
villages,  camps,  houses,  nay,  our  pulpits,  too,  and  lead  the 
poor  deluded  people  with  them  to  the  pit  of  perdition." 


"  Yes,"  writes  another  author,  "  every  ten  years,  or  nearly 
so,  the  Protestant  theological  literature  undergoes  a  com 
plete  revolution.  What  was  admired  during  the  one 
decennial  period  is  rejected  in  the  next,-  and  the  image 
which  they  adored  is  burnt,  to  make  way  for  new  divin 
ities  j  the  dogmas  which  were  held  in  honor,  fall  into  dis 
credit  ;  the  classical  treatise  of  morality  is  banished  among 
the  old  books  out  of  date  j  criticism  overturns  criticism ; 
the  commentary  of  yesterday  ridicules  that  of  the  previous 
day,  and  what  was  clearly  proved  in  1840,  is  not  less 
clearly  disproved  in  1850.  The  theological  systems  of 
Protestantism  are  as  numerous  as  the  political  constitutions 
of  France — one  revolution  only  awaits  another."  (Le 
Semeur,  June,  1850.)  It  is  indeed  utterly  impossible  to 
keep  the  various  members  of  one  single  sect  from  per 
petual  disputes,  even  about  the  essential  truths  of  revealed 
religion.  And  those  religious  differences  exist  not  only 
in  the  same  sect,  not  Only  in  the  same  country  and  town, 
but  even  in  the  same  family.  Nay,  the  self-same  individual, 
at  different  periods  of  his  life,  is  often  in  flagrant  contra 
diction  with  himself.  To-day  he  avow  opinions  which 
yesterday  he  abhorred,  and  to-morrow  he  will  exchange 
these  again  for  new  ones.  At  last,  after  belonging,  succes 
sively,  to  various  new-fangled  sects,  he  generally  ends  by 
professing  unmitigated  contempt  for  them  all.  By  their 
continual  disputes  and  bickerings,  and  dividing  and  sub 
dividing,  the  various  Protestant  sects  have  made  themselves 
the  scorn^of  honest  minds,  the  laughing-stock  of  the  pagan 
and  the  infidel. 

These  human  sects,  the  "works  of  the  flesh,"  as  St. 
Paul  calls  them,  alter  their  shape,  like  clouds,  but  feel  no 
blow,  says  Mr.  Marshall,  because  they  have  no  substance. 


They  fight  a  good  deal  with  one  another,  but  nobody 
minds  it,  not  even  themselves,  nor  cares  what  becomes  of 
them.  If  one  human  sect  perishes,  it  is  always  easy  to 
make  another,  or  half  a  dozen.  They  have  the  life  of 
worms,  and  propagate  by  corruption.  Their  life  is  so 
like  death  that,  except  by  the  putridity  which  they  exhale 
in  both  stages,  it  is  impossible  to  tell  which  is  which, 
and  when  they  ^are  buried,  nobody  can  find  their  grave. 
They  have  simply  disappeared. 

The  spirit  of  Protestantism,  or  the  spirit  of  revolt 
against  God  and  his  Church,  sprung  up  from  the  Reformers' 
spirit  of  incontinency,  obstinacy  and  covetousness.  Luther, 
in  despite  of  the  vow  he  had  solemnly  made  to  God  of 
keeping  continency,  married  a  nun,  Equally  bound  as  him 
self  to  that  sacred  religious  promise  ;  but,  as  St.  Jerome 
says,  "it  is  rare  to  find  a  heretic  that  loves  chastity." 

Luther's  example  had  indeed  been  anticipated  by  Carlo- 
stadtius,  a  priest  and  ringleader  of  the  Sacramentarians, 
who  had  married  a  little  before  ;  and  it  was  followed  by 
most  of  the  heads  of  the  Reformation. 

Zwihglius,  a  priest  and  chief  of  the  sect  that  bore  his 
name,  took  a  wife. 

Bucer,  a  member  of  the  order  of  St.  Dominic,  became 
a  Lutheran,  left  his  cloister,  and  married  a  nun. 

OEcolampadius,  a  Brigittin  monk,  became  a  Zwinglian, 
and  also  married. 

Cranmer,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury,  had  also  his  wife. 

Peter  Martyr,  a  canon-regular,  embraced  the  doctrine 
of  Calvin,  but  followed  the  example  of  Luther,  and  mar 
ried  a  nun. 

Ochin,  General  of  the  Capuchins,  became  a  Lutheran, 
and  also  married. 


Thus  the  principal  leaders  in  the  Reformation  went 
forth  *  preaching  the  new  gospel,  with  two  marks  upon 
them :  apostasy  from  faith,  and  open  violation  of  the  most 
sacred  vows. 

The  passion  of  lust,  as  has  been  already  said,  hurried 
also  Henry  VIII  of  England  into  a  separation  from  the 
Catholic  Church,  and  ranked  him  among  the  Reformers. 

Those  wicked  men  could  not  be  expected  to  teach  a 
holy  doctrine  j  they  preached  up  a  hitherto  unheard-of 
11  evangelical  liberty,"  as  they  styled  it.  They  told 
their  fellow-men  that  they  were  no  longer  obliged  to 
subject  their  understanding  to  the  mysteries  of  faith, 
and  to  regulate  their  actions  according  to  the  laws  of 
Christian  morality ;  they  told  that  every  one  was  free  to 
model  his  belief  and  practice  as  it  suited  his  inclinations. 
In  pursuance  of  this  accommodating  doctrine,  they  dissected 
the  Catholic  faith  till  they  reduced  it  to  a  mere  skeleton  ; 
they  lopped  off  the  reality  of  the  body  and  blood  of  Christ, 
in  the  Holy  Eucharist,  the  divine  Christian  sacrifice  offered 
in  the  Mass,  confession  of  sins,  most  of  the  sacraments, 
penitential  exercises,  several  of  the  canonical  books  of 
Scripture,  the  invocation  of  saints,  celibacy,  most  of  the 
General  Councils  of  the  Church,  and  all  present  Church 
authority  j  they  perverted  the  nature  of  justification, 
asserting  that  faith  alone  suffices  to  justify  man ;  they 
made  God  the  author  of  sin,  and  maintained  the  observance 
of  the  commandments  to  be  impossible. 

As  a  few  specimens  of  Luther's  doctrine,  take  the  fol 
lowing  :  "  God's  commandments  are  all  equally  impos 
sible."  (De  Lib.  Christ.,  t.  ii,  fol.  4.)  "  No  sins  can 
damn  a  man,  but  only  unbelief."  (De  Captio.  Bab.,  t.  ii, 
fol.  171.)  "  God  is  just,  though  by  his  own  will  he  lays 


us  under  the  necessity  of  being  damned,  and  though  he 
damns  those  who  have  not  deserved  it."  (Tom.  ii,  foil.  434, 
436.)  u  God  works  in  us  both  good  and  evil."  (Toni.  ii, 
fol.  444.)  "  Christ's  body  is  in  every  place,  no  less 
than  the  divinity  itself."  (Tom.  iv,  fol.  37.)  Then  for  his 
darling  principle  of  justification  by  faith,  in  his  eleventh 
article  against  Pope  Leo,  he  says :  "  Believe  strongly  that 
you  are  absolved,  and  absolved  you  will  be,  whether  you 
have  contrition  or  no." 

Again,  in  his  sixth  article  :  "  The  contrition  which  is 
acquired  by  examining,  recollecting,  and  detesting  one's 
sins,  whereby  a  man  calls  to  mind  his  life  past,  in  the  bit 
terness  of  his  soul,  reflecting  on  the  heinousness  and  mul 
titude  of  his  offences,  the  loss  of  eternal  bliss,  and 
condemnation  to  eternal  woe, — this  contrition,  I  say,  makes 
a  man  a  hypocrite,  nay,  even  a  greater  sinner  than  he  was 

Thus,  after  the  most  immoral  life,  a  man  has  a  compen 
dious  method  of  saving  himself,  by  simply  believing  that 
his  sins  are  remitted  through  the  merits  of  Christ. 

As  Luther  foresaw  the  scandal  that  would  arise  from  his 
own  and  such  like  sacrilegious  marriages,  he  prepared 
the  world  for  it,  by  writing  against  the  celibacy  of 
the  clergy  and  all  religious  vows  j  and  all  the  way  up, 
since  his  time,  he  has  had  imitators.  He  proclaimed  that 
all  such  vows  u  were  contrary  to  faith,  to  the  command 
ments  of  God,  and  to  evangelical  liberty."  (De  Votis 
Monast.)  He  said  again :  "  God  disapproves  of  such  a 
vow  of  living  in  continency,  equally  as  if  I  should  vow 
to  become  the  mother  of  God,  or  to  create  a  new  world." 
(Epist.  ad  Wolfgang  Reisemb.)  And  again:  "  To  attempt 
to  live  unmarried,  is  plainly  to  fight  against  God." 

CREED.  235 

Now,  when  men  give  a  loose  rein  to  the  depravity  of 
nature,  what  wonder  if  the  most  scandalous  practices 
ensue  f  Accordingly,  a  striking  instance  of  this  kind 
appeared  in  the  license  granted  in  1539  to  Philip,  Land 
grave  of  Hesse,  to  have  two  wives  at  once,  which  license 
was  signed  by  Luther,  Melanchthon,  Bucer,  and  five  Other 
Protestant  divines. 

On  the  Other  hand,  a  wide  door  was  laid  open  to  another 
species  of  scandal :  the  doctrine  of  the  Reformation 
admitted  divorces  in  the  marriage  state  in  certain  cases, 
contrary  to  the  doctrine  of  the  Gospel,  and  even  allowed 
the  parties  thus  separated  to  marry  other  wives  and 
other  husbands. 

To  enumerate  the  errors  of  all  the  Reformers  would 
exceed  the  limits  of  this  work.  I  shall  therefore  only 
add  the  principal  heads  of  the  doctrine  of  Calvin  and  the 
Calvinists  :  1,  that  baptism  is  not  necessary  for  salvation ; 
2,  good  works  are  not  necessary  j  3,  man  has  no  free 
will  ;  4,  Adam  could  not  avoid  his  fall  5  5,  a  great  part  of 
mankind  are  created  to  be  damned,  independently  of  their 
demerits :  6,  man  is  justified  by  faith  alone,  and  that 
justification,  once  obtained,  cannot  be  lost,  even  by  the 
most  atrocious  crimes  j  7,  the  true  faithful  are  also  infal 
libly  certain  of  their  salvation  ;  8,  the  Eucharist  is  no 
more  than  a  figure  of  the  body  and  blood  of  Christ. 
Thus  was  the  whole  system  of  faith  and  morality  over 
turned.  Tradition  they  totally  abolished ;  and,  though  they 
could  not  reject  the  whole  of  the  Scripture,  as  being 
universally  acknowledged  to  be  the  word  of  God,  they 
had,  however,  the  presumption  to  expunge  some  books  of 
it  that  did  not  coincide  with  their  own  opinions,  and  the 
rest  they  assumed  a  right  to  explain  as  they  saw  fit. 


To  pious  souls,  they  promised  a  return 'to  the  fervor  -of 
primitive  Christianity ;  to  the  proud,  the  liberty  of  private 
judgment ;  to  the  enemies  of  the  clergy,  they  promised  the 
division  of  their  spoils ;  to  priests  and  monks  who  were 
tired  of  the  yoke  of  continence,  the  abolition  of  a  law 
which  they  said  was  contrary  to  nature  j  to  libertines  of 
all  classes,  the  suppression  of  fasting,  abstinence,  and  con 
fession.  They  said  to  kings  who  wished  to  place  them 
selves  at  the  head  of  the  Church  as  well  as  the  State, 
that  they  would  be  freed  from  the  spiritual  authority 
of  the  Church  ;  to  nobles,  that  they  would  ,seer  a-  rival 
order  humbled  and  impoverished ;  to  the  middle  classes, 
and  the  vassals  of  the  Church,  that  they  would  be  em^n^ 
cipated  from  all  dues  and  forced  services. 

Several  princes  of  Germany  and  of  the  Swiss  cantons 
supported  by  arms  the  preachers  of  the  new  doctrines. 
Henry  VIII  imposed  his  doctrine  on  his  subjects.  The 
King  of  Sweden  drew  his  people  into  apostasy.  The 
Court  of  Navarre  welcomed  the  Calvinists ;  the  Court  of 
France  secretly  favored  them. 

At  length  Pope  Paul  III  convoked  a  General  Council 
at  Trent,  in  1545,  to  which  the  heresiarchs  had  appealed. 
Not  only  all  the  Catholic  bishops,  but  also  all  Christian 
princes,  even  Protestants,  were  invited  to  come. 

But  now  the  spirit  of  pride  and  obstinacy  became  most 
apparent.  Henry  VIII  replied  to  the  pope  that  he 
would  never  intrust  the  work  of  reforming  religion  in 
his  kingdom  to  any  one  except  to  himself.  The  apostate 
princes  of  Germany  told  the  papal  legate  that  they  recog 
nized  only  the  emperor  as  their  sovereign  ;  the  Viceroy  of 
Naples  allowed  but  four  bishops  to  go  to  the  council ;  the 
King  of  France  sent  only  three  prelates,  whom  he  soon 

CREED.  237 

after  recalled.  Charles  V  created  difficulties,  and  put 
obstacles  in  the  way.  Gustavus  Vasa  allowed  no  one  to 
go  to  the  council.  The  heresiarchs  also  refused  to  appear. 
The  council,  however,  was  held,  in  spite  of  these  difficul 
ties.  It  la'sted  over  eighteen  years,  because  it  was  often 
interrupted  by  the  plague,  by  war,  and  by  the  deaths  of 
those  who -had  to  preside  over  it.  The  doctrines  of  the 
innovators  were  examined  and  condemned  by  the  council, 
at  the  last  session  of  which  there  were  more  than  three 
hundred  bishops  present  j  among  whom  were  nine  cardi 
nals, -three  patriarchs,  thirty-three  archbishops,  not  to 
,  mention  sixteen  abbots  or  generals  of  religious  orders, 
.and  one  hundred  and  forty-eight  theologians.  All  the 
decrees  published  from  the  commencement  were  read 
over,  and  *  were  again  approved  and  subscribed  by  the 
Fathers.  Accordingly,  Pius  IV,  in  a  consistory  held  on 
the  26th  of  January,  1564,  approved  and  confirmed  the 
council  in.  a  book  which  was  signed  by  all  the  cardinals. 
He  drew  up,  the  same  year,  a  profession  of  faith  conform 
able  in  all  respects  with  the  definitions  of  the  council,  in 
which  it  is  declared  that  its  authority  is  accepted  j  and 
since  that  time,  not  only  all  bishops  of  the  Catholic 
Church,  but  all  priests  who  are  called  to  teach  the  way 
of  salvation  even  to  children,  nay,  all  non-Catholics,  on 
abjuring  their  errors,  and  returning  to  the  bosom  of  the 
Church,  have  sworn  that  they  had  no  other  faith  than  that 
of  this  holy  council. 

The  new  heresiarchs,  however,  continued  to  obscure 
and  disfigure  the  face  of  religion.  As  to  Luther's  senti 
ments  in  regard  to  the  pope,  bishops,  councils,  etc., 
he  says,  in  the  preface  to  his  book,  u  De  Abroganda 
Missa  Privata :"  "  With  how  many  powerful  remedies  and 


most  evident  Scriptures  have  I  scarce  been  able  to  fortify 
my  conscience  so  as  to  dare  alone  to  contradict  the  pope, 
and  to  believe  him  to  be  Antichrist,  the  bishops  his  apostles, 
and  the  universities  his  brothel-houses ; "  and  in  his  book, 
"  De  Judicio  Ecdesice  de  Gram  Doctrina"  he  says  :  "  Christ 
takes  from  the  bishops,  doctors  and  councils,  both  the  right 
and  power  of  judging  controversies,  and  gives  them  to  all 
Christians  in  general." 

His  censure  on  the  Council  of  Constance,  and  those  that 
compose  it,  is  as  follows  :  "  All  John  Huss's  articles  were 
condemned  at  Constance  by  Antichrist  and  his  apostles  " 
(meaning  the  pope  and  bishops),  u  in  that  synod  of  Satan, 
made  up  of  most  wicked  sophisters ;  and  you,  most  holy 
Vicar  of  Christ,  I  tell  you  plainly  to  your  face,  that  all 
John  Huss's  condemned  doctrines  are  evangelical  and 
Christian,  but  all  yours  are  impious  and  diabolical.  I 
now  declare,"  says  he,  speaking  to  the  bishops,  u  that  for 
the  future  I  will  not  vouchsafe  you  so  much  ho'nor  as  to 
submit  myself  or  doctrine  to  your  judgment,  or  to  that  of 
an  angel  from  heaven."  (Preface  to  his  book,  "  Adversus 
falso  nominatum  ordinem  Episcoporum.")  Such  was  his 
spirit  of  pride  that  he  made  open  profession  of  contempt  for 
the  authority  of  the  Church,  councils,  and  Fathers,  saying  : 
"  All  those  who  will  venture  their  lives,  their  estates,  their 
honor,  and  their  blood,  in  so  Christian  a  work  as  to  root 
out  all  bishoprics  and  bishops,  who  are  the  ministers  of 
Satan,  and  to  pluck  by  the  roots  all  their  authority  and 
jurisdiction  in  the  world, — these  persons  are  the  true  chil 
dren  of  God,  and  obey  his  commandments."  (u  Contra  Sta- 
tum  Ecdesice  et  falso  nominatum  ordinem  Episcoporum.") 

This  spirit  of  pride  and  of  obstinacy  is  also  most  appar 
ent  from  the  fact  that  Protestantism  has  never  been  ashamed 


to  make  use  of  any  arguments,  though  ever  so  frivolous, 
inconsistent,  or  absurd,  to  defend  its  errors,  and  to  slander 
and  misrepresent  the  Catholic  religion  in  every  way 
possible.  It  shows  itself  again  in  the  wars  which  Protes 
tantism  has  waged  to  introduce  and  maintain  itself.  The 
apostate  princes  of  Germany  entered  into  a  league,  offen 
sive  and  defensive,  against  the  Emperor  Charles  V,  and 
rose  up  in  arms  to  establish  Protestantism. 

Luther  had  preached  licentiousness,  and  reviled  the 
emperor,  the  princes,  and  the  bishops.  The  peasants  lost 
no  time  in  freeing  themselves  from  their  masters.  They 
overran  the  country  in  lawless  bands,  burnt  down  castles 
and  monasteries,  and  committed  the  most  barbarous  cruel 
ties  against  the  nobility  and  clergy.  Germany  became 
at  last  the  scene  of  desolation  and  most  cruel  atrocities 
during  the  Thirty  Years7  War  (1618-1648).  More  than 
one  hundred  thousand  men  fell  in  battle,  seven  cities 
were  dismantled,  one  thousand  religious  houses  were  razed 
to  the  ground  j  three  hundred  churches,  and  immense 
treasures  of  statuary,  paintings,  books,  etc.,  were  destroyed. 

But  what  is  more  apparent  and  better  known  than  the 
spirit  of  covetousness  of  Protestantism  ?  Wherever  Protes 
tantism  secured  a  footing,  it  pillaged  churches,  seized 
Church  property,  destroyed  monasteries  and  appropriated 
to  itself  their  revenues. 

In  France,  the  Calvinists  destroyed  twenty  thousand 
Catholic  churches  j  they  murdered,  in  Dauphiny  alone, 
two  hundred  and  fifty-five  priests,  one  hundred  and  twelve 
monks,  and  burned  nine  hundred  towns  and  villages.  In 
Kngland,  Henry  VIII  confiscated  to  the  crown,  or  dis 
tributed  among  his  favorites,  the  property  of  six  hun 
dred  and  forty-five  monasteries  and  ninety  colleges,  one 


hundred  and  ten  hospitals,  and  two  thousand  three  hun 
dred  and  seventy-four  free-chapels  and  chantries. 

They  even  dared  to  profane,  with  sacrilegious  hands, 
the  remains  of  the  martyrs  and  co'nfessors  of  God.  In 
ma'ny  places  they  forcibly  took  up  the  saints'  bo'dies 
from  the  repositories  where  they  were  kept,  burned  them, 
and  scattered  their  ashes  abroad.  What  more  atrocious 
indignity  can  be  conceived  ?  Are  parricides  or  the  most 
flagitious  men  ever  worse  treated  ?  Among  6ther  instances, 
in  1562,  the  Calvinists  broke  open  the  shrine  of  St. 
Francis  of  Paula,  at  Plessis-Lestours  ;  and  finding  his  body 
uncorrupted  fifty-five  years  after  his  death,  they  dragged 
it  about  the  streets,  and  burned  it  in  a  fire  which  they 
had  made  with  the  wood  of  a  large  crucifix,  as  Billet  and 
other  historians  relate. 

Thus  at  Lyons,  in  the  same  year,  the  Calvinists  seized 
upon  the  shrine  of  St.  Bonaventure,  stripped  it  of  its 
riches,  burned  the  saint's  relics  in  the  market-place,  and 
threw  his  ashes  into  the  river  Saone,  as  is  related  by  the 
learned  Possevinus,  who  was  in  Lyons  at  the  time. 

The  bodies,  also,  of  St.  Irenseus,  St.  Hilary,  and  St. 
Martin,  as  Surius  asserts,  were  treated  in  the  same 
ignominious  manner.  Such,  also,  was  the  treatment  offered 
to  the  remains  of  St.  Thomas,  Archbishop  of  Canterbury, 
whose  rich  shrine,  according  to  the  words  of  Stowe,  in 
his  Annals,  "  was  taken  to  the  king's  use,  and  the  bones 
of  St.  Thomas,  by  the  command  of  Lord  Cromwell,  were 
burnt  to  ashes  in  September,  1538. 

The  Catholic  religion  has  covered  the  world  with  its 
superb  monuments.  Protestantism  has  now  lasted  three 
hundred  years  ;  it  was  powerful  in  England,  in  Germany, 
in  America.  What  has  it  raised  ?  It  will  show  us  the 


ruins  which  it  has  made,  amidst  which  it  has  planted 
some  gardens,  or  established  some  factories.  The  Cath 
olic  religion  is  essentially  a  creative  power,  built  up,  not  to 
destroy,  because  it  is  under  the  immediate  influence  of 
that  Holy  Spirit  which  the  Church  invokes  as  the  creative 
Spirit,  "  Creator  Spiritus."  The  Protestant,  or  modern  ^ 
philosophical  spirit,  is  a  principle  of  destruction,  of  per 
petual  decomposition  and  disunion.  Under  the  dominion 
of  English  Protestant  power,  for  four  hundred  years, 
Ireland  was  rapidly  becoming  as  naked  and  void  of 
ancient  memorials  as  the  wilds  of  Africa. 

The  Reformers  themselves  were  so  ashamed  of  the 
progress  of  immorality  among  their  proselytes,  that  they 
could  not  help  complaining  against  it.  Thus  spoke  Luther : 
"  Men  are  now  more  revengeful,  covetous,  and  licentious, 
than  they  were  ever  in  the  Papacy."  (Postil.  super  Evang. 
Dom.  i,  Advent.)  Then  again  :  "Heretofore,  when  we  were 
seduced  by  the  pope,  every  man  willingly  performed  good 
works,  but  now  no  man  says  or  knows  anything  else  than 
how  to  get  all  to  himself  by  exactions,  pillage,  theft,  lying, 
usury."  (Postil.  super  Evang.  Dom.  xxvi,  p.  Trinit.) 

Calvin  wrote  in  the  same  strain  :  "  Of  so  many  thou 
sands,"  said  he,  "  who,  renouncing  Popery,  seemed  eagerly 
to  embrace  the  Gospel,  how  few  have  amended  their  lives  ! 
Nay,  what  else  did  the  greater  part  pretend  to,  than,  by 
shaking  off  the  yoke  of  superstition,  to  give  themselves 
more  liberty  to  follow  all  kinds  of  licentiousness  ?  "  ("  Liber 
de  Scandalis")  Dr.  Heylin,  in  his  History  of  the  Refor 
mation,  complains  also  of  "  the  great  increase,  of  vicious- 
ness  "  in  England,  in  the  reforming  reign  of  Edward  VI. 

Erasmus  says :  "  Take  a  view  of  this  evangelical 
people,  the  Protestants.  Perhaps  'tis  my  misfortune,  but 


I  never  yet  met  with  one  who  does  not  appear  changed 
for  the  worse."  (Epist.  ad  Vultur.  Neoc.)  And  again  : 
"  Some  persons/7  says  he,  a  whom  I  knew  formerly 
innocent,  harmless,  and  without  deceit,  no  sooner  have  I 
seen  them  joined  to  that  sect  (the  Protestants),  than  they 
began  to  talk  of  wenches,  to  play  at  dice,  to  leave  off 
prayers,  being  grown  extremely  worldly,  most  impatient, 
revengeful,  vain,  like  vipers,  tearing  one  another.  I  speak 
by  experience."  (" Ep.  ad  Fratres  Infer.  Germanise" 

M.  Scherer,  the  principal  of  a  Protestant  school  in 
France,  wrote,  in  1844,  that  he  beholds  in  his  reformed 
church  uthe  ruin  of  all  truth,  the  weakness  of  infinite 
division,  the  scattering  of  flocks,  ecclesiastical  anarchy, 
Socinianism  ashamed  of  itself,  Rationalism  coated  like  a 
pill,  without  doctrine,  without  consistency.  This  Church, 
deprived  alike  of  i^s  corporate  and  its  dogmatic  character, 
of  its  form  and  of  its  doctrine,  deprived  of  all  that  con 
stituted  it  a  Christian  church,  has  in  truth  ceased  to  exist 
in  the  ranks  of  religious  communities.  Its  name  continues, 
but  it  represents  only  a  corpse,  a  phantom,  or,  if  you 
will,  a  memory  or  a  hope.  For  want  of  dogmatic 
authority,  unbelief  has  made  its  way  into  three-fourths  of 
our  pupils."  (a  IJEtat  Actualde  TEglise  Eeform6e  en  France, 

Such  has  been  Protestantism  from  the  beginning.  It  is 
written  in  blood  and  fire  upon  the  pages  of  history. 
Whether  it  takes  the  form  of  Lutheranism  in  Germany, 
Denmark,  and  Sweden  •  Anglicanism  in  Great  Britain,  or 
Calvinism  and  Presbyterianism  in  Switzerland,  France, 
Holland,  Scotland,  and  America, — it  has  been  everywhere 
the  same.  It  has  risen  by  tumult  and  violence  j  propa 
gated  itself  by  force  and  persecution  5  enriched  itself  by 

CREED.  243 

plunder,  and  has  never  ceased,  by  o'pen  force,  persecuting 
laws  or  slander,  its  attempt  to  exterminate  the  Catholic 
faith,  and  destroy  the  Church  of  Christ,  which  the  fathers 
of  Protestantism  left  from  the  spirit  of  lust,  pride,  and 
covetousness, — a  spirit  which  induced  so  many  of  their 
countrymen  to  follow  their  wicked  example  j  a  spirit,  on 
account  of  which  they  would  have  been  lost  anyhow,  even 
if  they  had  not  left  their  mother,  the  One  Holy  Eoman 
Catholic  and  Apostolic  Church.  Having  seen  the  total 
absence  of  unity  in  Protestantism,  total  absence  of  holi 
ness  in  its  authors  and  their  principles,  total  absence  of 
catholicity )  for  want  of  truth,  which  alone  can  rule  and 
enforce  obedience  everywhere  throughout  the  world  j  and 
total  absence  of  apostolicity ,  because  it  arose  only  three 
hundred  years,  ago, — and  no  honest  man  will  say  that  the 
apostles  were  Protestants, — it  is  easy  to  answer  the 
question  : 

12.  If,  then,  only  the  Roman  Church  is  one,  holy,  Cath 
olic  and  Apostolic,  what  follows  I 

It  follows  that  the  Eoman  Catholic  Church  alone  is  the 
one  true  Church  of  Christ. 

There  are  men  foolish  enough  to  talk  of  Protestantism 
as  if  it  were  a  name  for  some  religious  faith,  system,  or 
organization  !  They  even  speak  of  the  Protestant  religion, 
or  the  Protestant  Church  !  There  is  nothing  of  the  kind. 
There  is,  and  there  can  be,  but  one  true  religion.  The 
word  "  religion,"  says  St.  Augustine,  is  derived  from  the 
Latin  word  re-eligendo  (to  reelect),  because,  after  having 
lost  our  Lord  by  sin,  we  ought  to  reelect,  or  choose  him 
again,  as  our  true  and  only  Lord  and  sovereign  Master. 
But,  according  to  the  same  saint,  the  word  a  religion  w  is 
derived  from  reiigando  (to  reunite),  because,  it  reunites 


man  with  God,  with  whom  he  was  primitively  united, 
but  from  whom  he  voluntarily  separated  by  sin.  Hence, 
according  to  St.  Thomas  Aquinas,  religion  is  a  virtue 
which  teaches  us  to  live  in  union  with  God.  Now,  to  live 
in  union  with  God  is  to  keep  our  will  united  to  his ;  in 
other  words,  it  is  to  do  the  will  of  God.  Religion,  there 
fore,  is  the  knowing  and  doing  of  God's  will.  He  alone 
who  knows  and  does  the  will  of  God  has  religion — is  a 
truly  religious  man.  Hence  religion  has  always  been  one 
and  the  same :  1,  in  its  Author,  who  is  God,  who  taught 
man  his  will,  either  in  person  or  through  those  to  whom  he 
made  his  will  known ;  2,  in  its  doctrine. 

As  God  has  always  taught  man  the  same  truths  con 
cerning  himself,  man,  the  world,  morality,  divine  worship, 
grace,  the  object  of  religion,  and  the  means  to  preserve  and 
spread  it,  it  is  clear  that  religion  must  always  have  been 
one  and  the  same  from  the  beginning  of  the  world. 

As  to  himseif,  God  has  always  taught,  from  the  begin 
ning  of  the  world,  that  he  alone  is  the  only  one  God, 
infinitely  perfect,  the  Creator  and  Redeemer  of  all  things  ; 
that  the  Redeemer  would  save  the  world,  and  that  we 
would  be  sanctified  by  his  Spirit.  These  truths,  however, 
are  more  fully  known  to  Christians  than  they  were  to 
the  Jews. 

Concerning  man,  God  has  always  taught  that  he  created 
him  to  his  likeness,  being  composed  of  a  body,  and  a  soul 
which  is  spiritual,  free,  and  immortal ;  that  man  fell  through 
his  own  fault ;  that  all  men  are  born  in  a  state  of  sin  and 
degradation  ;  that  they  will  all  rise  at  the  last  day,  and  that 
tliere  will  be  eternal  rewards  for  the  just,  and  eternal  punish 
ments  for  the  wicked. 

With  regard  to  the  world,  God  has  always  taught  that 


he  created  it  out  of  nothing  j  that,  by  his  infinite  power 
and  wisdom,  he  governed  and  preserved  it  j  that  he  will 
purify  it  by  fire,  and  that  there  will  be  a  new  heaven  and 
a  new  earth. 

As  to  morality,  God  has  always  taught  the  same  laws, 
the  same  distinction  between  good  and  e>il ;  always  com 
mended  the  same  virtues,  and  condemned  the  same  vices. 

As  to  his  worship,  God  has  always  taught  the  same  two 
essential  acts  of  worship,  viz.  :  prayer  and  sacrifice. 

As  to  grace,  God  has  always  taught  that  it  was  neces 
sary  for  every  man  to  be  saved  j  that  he  would  give  it,  on 
account  of  the  Redeemer,  to  all  those  who  would  use  those 
means  through  which  he  wished  to  bestow  it. 

As  to  the  object  of  religion,  God  has  always  taught  that 
it  was  to  destroy  sin,  and  to  lead  men  to  true  happiness. 

As  to  the  means  of  preserving  and  spreading  it,  God 
has  always  used  the  same  means,  choosing  certain  men, 
and  investing  them  with  his  own  authority,  to  teach  his 
religion  authoritatively,  and  with  divine  certainty.  So 
that  to  hear  and  believe  the  infrMible  teachers  chosen  and 
sent  by  God,  is  to  hear  and  to  believe  God  himself.  Such 
infallible  teachers  were,  as  we  have  seen,  the  patriarchs 
and  Moses  and  the  prophets,  before  the  coming  of  the 
Redeemer ;  and  Jesus  Christ,  the  Son  of  God,  and  his 
teaching  Church, — St.  Peter  and  the  other  apostles,  and 
their  lawful  successors,  in  the  New  Law.  As  religion  has 
always  been  one  and  the  same  from  the  beginning  of  the 
world,  because  the  same  God  has  always  taught  one  and 
the  same  religion,  in  like  manner  the  teaching  authority 
has  always  been  the  same,  which  is  God's  own  infallible 
authority,  invested  in  those  of  whom  he  said :  "  He  who 
heareth  you  heareth  me."  There  has,  therefore,  always 


been  but  one  and  the  same  religion,  but  one  and  the  samo 
Church.  As  man,  by  passing  through  the  different  stages 
of  life,  does  not  cease  to  be  the  same  man,  so  religion  has 
never  ceased  to  be  the  same,  though  it  has  not  at  all  times 
been  taught  as  fully  as  it  is  at  the  present  day ;  and  the 
Christian  religion,  as  taught  by  Christ  in  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  is  far  more  perfect,  and  is  far  richer  in 
graces,  than  it  was  before  the  coming  of  the  Redeemer. 

It  is,  therefore,  quite  absurd  to  speak  of  Protestantism 
as  of  a  religion  or  church  j  the  truth  is  one,  errors  are 
many  ;  the  Church,  the  pillar  and  ground  of  truth,  is  one  j 
sects  are  many  that  deny  the  truth  an,d  the  Church's  in 
fallible  authority  to  teach  truth.  Every  sensible  man, 
then,  seeing  a  class  of  men  drawn  into  a  whirlpool  of  end 
less  religious  variations  and  dissensions,  is  forced  to  say  : 
"  This  is  only  an  ephemeral  sect,  without  substance  and 
without  any  divine  authority  j  it  is  a  plant  not  planted  by 
the  hand  of  Almighty  God,  and  therefore  it  will  be  rooted 
up  j  it  is  a  kingdom  divided  against  itself,  and  therefore  it 
will  be  made  desolate  ;  it  is  a  house  built  on  sand,  and  there 
fore  it  cannot  stand  j  it  is  a  cloud  without  water,  which  is 
carried  about  by  the  winds  j  a  tree  of  autumn,  unfruitful, 
twice  dead,  by  the  want  of  faith  and  morality,  and  there 
fore  it  will  be  plucked  up  by  the  roots ;  a  raging  wave  of 
the  sea,  foaming  out  its  own  confusion  j  a  wandering 
star,  to  which  the  storm  and  darkness  are  reserved  for 
ever  j  a  withered  branch,  cut  off  from  the  body  of  Christ, 
the  One  Holy  Roman  Catholic  and  Apostolic  Church, 
which  alone  is  established  by  Christ  on  earth  as  his  i  pillar 
and  ground  of  truth/  in  one  fold,  watched  over  by  his  one 
chief  shepherd,  ever  immovable  amid  the  storms  of  hell ; 
with  unshaken  faith,  amid  the  variations  of  philosophical 


systems,  the  infernal  persecutions  of  the  wicked,  the  revolu 
tions  of  empires,  the  attacks  of  interest,  of  prejudice,  of 
passion,  the  dissolving  labors  of  criticism,  the  progress  of 
physical,  historical,  and  other  sciences,  the  unrestrained 
love  of  novelty,  the  abuses  which  sooner  or  later  under 
mine  the  most  firmly-established  human  institutions.  The 
faith  of  this  Church  alone  is  divine,  because  she  alone 
teaches  with  divine  authority." 

This  is  clear  to  every  unprejudiced  and  well-reflecting 
mind.  Mr.  T.  W.  M.  Marshall  relates  the  following,  in 
one  of  his  lectures : 

"A  young  English  lady,  with  whom  I  became  subse 
quently  acquainted,  and  from  whose  lips  I  heard  the  tale, 
informed  her  parents  that  she  felt  constrained  to  embrace 
the  Catholic  faith.  Hereupon  arose  much  agitation  in  the 
parental  councils,  and  a  reluctant  promise  was  extorted 
from  the  daughter  that  she  would  not  communicate  with 
any  Catholic  priest  till  she  had  first  listened  to  the  convinc 
ing  arguments  with  which  certain  clerical  friends  of  the 
family  would  easily  dissipate  her  unreasonable  doubts. 
These  ministers  were  three  in  number^  and  we  will  call 
them  Messrs.  A,  B  and  C.  The  appointed  day  arrived 
for  the  solemn  discussion,  which  one  of  the  ministers  was 
about  to  commence,  when  the  young  lady  opened  it 
abruptly  with  the  following  remark  :  f  I  am  too  young  and 
uninstructed  to  dispute  with  gentlemen  of  your  age  and 
experience,  but  perhaps  you  will  allow  me  to  ask  you  a 
few  questions  V  Anticipating  an  easy  triumph  over  the 
poor  girl,  the  three  ministers  acceded  with  encouraging 
smiles  to  her  request.  '  Then  I  will  ask  you/  she  said 
to  Mr.  A,  l  whether  regeneration  always  accompanies 
the  sacrament  of  baptism  V  6  Undoubtedly/  was  the 



prompt  reply  5  *  that  is  the  plain  doctrine  of  our  Church.' 
6  And  you,  Mr.  B/  she  continued, — l  do  you  teach  that 
doctrine  T  i  Grod  forbid,  my  young  friend/  was  his 
indignant  answer,  '  that  I  should  teach  such  soul-destroy 
ing  error !  Baptism  is  a  formal  rite,  which/  etc.,  etc. 
6  And  you,  Mr.  C/  she  asked  the  third,  l  what  is  your 
opinion  T  ( I  regret,'  he  replied  with  a  bland  voice,  for 
he  began  to  suspect  they  were  making  a  mess  of  it,  *  that 
my  reverend  friends  should  have  expressed  themselves  a 
little  incautiously.  The  true  doctrine  lies  between  these 
extremes ' — and  he  was  going  to  develop  it,  when  the 
young  lady,  rising  from  her  chair,  said :  i  I  thank  you, 
gentlemen;  you  have  taught  me  all  that  I  expected  to 
learn  from  you.  You  are  all  ministers  of  the  same  church, 
yet  you  each  contradict  the  other,  even  upon  a  do'ctrine 
which  St.  Paul  calls  one  of  the  foundations  of  Christianity. 
You  have  only  confirmed  me  in  my  resolution  to  enter  a 
Church  whose  ministers  all  teach  the  same  thing.'  And 
then  they  went  out  of  the  room,  one  by  one,  and  probably 
continued  their  battle  in  the  street.  But  the  parents  of 
the  young  lady  turned  her  out  of  doors  the  next  day,  to 
get  her  bread  as  she  could.  They  sometimes  do  that  sort 
of  thing  in  England. 

u  Another  friend  of  mine,  also  a  lady,  and  one  of  the 
most  intelligent  of  her  sex,  was  for  several  years  the  dis 
ciple  of  the  distinguished  minister  who  has  given  a  name 
to  a  certain  religious  school  in  England.  Becoming  dis 
affected  toward  the  Episcopalian  Church,  which  appeared 
to  her  more  redolent  of  earth,  in  proportion  as  she  aspired 
more  ardently  toward  heaven,  she  was  persuaded  to 
assist  at  a  certain  Ritualistic  festival,  which  it  was  hoped 
would  have  a  soothing  effect  upon  her  mind.  A  new 

CREED.  249 

church  was  to  be  opened,  and  the  ceremonies  were  to  be 
prolonged  through  an  entire  week.  All  the  Ritualistic 
celebrities  of  the  day  were  expected  to  be  present.  Her 
lodging  was  judiciously  provided  in  a  house  in  which  were 
five  of  the  most  transcendental  members  of  the  High 
Church  party.  It  was  hoped  that  they  would  speedily 
convince  her  of  their  apostolic  unity,  but,  unfortunately, 
they  only  succeeded  in  proving  to  her  that  no  two  of  them 
were  of  the  same  mind.  One  recommended  her  privately 
to  pray  to  the  Blessed  Virgin,  which  another  condemned 
as,  at  best,  a  poetical  superstition.  One  told  her  that 
the  pope  was,  by  divine  appointment,  the  head  of  the 
Universal  Church ;  another,  that  he  was  a  usurper  and 
a  schismatic.  One  maintained  that  the  '  Reformers J 
were  profane  scoundrels  and  apostates ;  another,  that 
they  had  at  all  events  good  intentions.  But  I  need  not 
trouble  you  with  an  account  of  their  various  creeds. 
Painfully  affected  by  this  diversity,  where  she  had  been 
taught  to  expect  complete  uniformity,  her  doubts  were 
naturally  confirmed.  During  the  week  she  was  invited 
to  take  a  walk  with  the  eminent  person  whom  she  had 
hitherto  regared  as  a  trustworthy  teacher.  To  him  she 
revealed  her  growing  disquietude,  and  presumed  to  lament 
the  conflict  of  opinions  which  she  had  lately  witnessed,  but 
only  to  be  rewarded  by  a  stern  rebuke  ;  for  it  is  a  singular 
fact  that  men  who  are  prepared  at  any  moment  to  judge 
all  the  saints  and  doctors,  will  not  tolerate  any  judgment 
which  reflects  upon  themselves.  It  was  midwinter,  and 
the  lady's  companion,  pointing  to  the  leafless  trees  by  the 
roadside,  said,  with  appropriate  solemnity  of  voice  and 
manner :  i  They  are  stripped  of  their  foliage  now,  but 
wait  for  the  spring,  and  you  will  see  them  once  more  wake 


to  life.  So  shall  it  be  with  the  Church  of  England,  which 
now  seems  to  you  dead.'  '  It  may  be  so/  she  replied  j 
1  but  what  sort  of  a  spring  can  we  expect  after  a  winter 
tvhich  has  lasted  three  hundred  years  T  You  will  not  be 
surprised  to  hear  that  this  lady  soon  after  became  a 
member  of  a  Church  which  knows  nothing  of  winter,  but 
within  whose  peaceful  borders  reigns  eternal  spring." 

And  why  do  we  see  an  eternal  spring  within  the  peaceful 
borders  of  the  Catholic  Church  I  The  reason  is  contained 
in  the  answer  to  the  question : 

13.  Is  the  faith  of  the  Roman  Catholic  divine  or  human  ? 

The  faith  of  the  Roman  Catholic  is  divine,  for,  to  believe 
the  Catholic  Church  is  to  believe  God  himself. 

The  Roman  Catholic  Church  is  the  heir  to  the  rights  of 
Jesus  Christ.  She  is  the  faithful  depositary  of  the  spiritual 
treasures  of  Jesus  Christ.  She  is  the  infallible  teacher  of 
the  doctrines  of  Jesus  Christ.  She  wields  the  authority 
of  Jesus  Christ.  She  lives  by  the  life  and  spirit  of  Jesus 
Christ.  She  enjoys  the  guidance  and  help  of  Jesus 
Christ.  She  speaks,  orders,  commands,  concedes,  prohibits, 
defines,  looses  and  binds,  in  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ. 
The  Catholic  believes  in  this  divine  authority  of  the 
Church,  and  therefore  believes  and  obeys  her ;  and  in 
believing  and  obeying  her,  he  believes  and  obeys  Almighty 
God  himself,  who  said  to  the  apostles  and  their  lawful  suc 
cessors  in  the  Catholic  Church  :  u  He  that  heareth  you 
heareth  me,  and  he  that  despiseth  you  despiseth  me." 
(Luke  x,  16).  His  faith,  therefore,  is  divine,  because 
it  is  based  on  divine  authority  ;  it  gives  peace  to  his  soul, 
and  contentment  to  his  heart  j  it  is  for  him,  as  it  were,  a 
perpetual  spring  of  happiness  and  joy. 

CREED.  251 

14.  Do  Protestant  sects  teach  divine  faith  on  divine 

No  /  the  faith  of  Protestants  is  based  upon  human  author 
ity,  becaiise  their  founders  were  not  sent  by  God,  nor  did 
they  receive  any  mission  from  his  Church. 

The  aim  of  Protestantism  was  to  declare  every  man 
independent  of  the  divine  authority  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
and  to  substitute  for  this  divine  authority  that  of  the 
Bible,  as  interpreted  by  himself.  Protestants,  therefore, 
hold  that  man  is  himself  his  own  teacher  and  his  own  law 
giver  |  that  it  is  each  one's  business  to  find  out  his  own 
religion,  that  is  to  say,  that  every  one  must  judge  for  himself 
what  doctrines  are  most  consistent  with  reason  and  the  holy 
Scriptures;  or  that  he  must  follow  the  teaching  of  the 
clergyman  whose  views  best  commend  themselves  to  his 
judgment.  He  does  not  acknowledge  that  God  has  a 
right  to  teach  him  j  or,  if  he  acknowledges  this  right,  he 
does  not  feel  himself  bound  to  believe  all  that  God  teaches 
him  through  those  whom  God  appointed  to  teach  mankind. 
He  says  to  God :  If  thou  teachest  me,  I  reserve  to  my 
self  the  right  to  examine  thy  words,  to  explain  them  as  I 
choose,  and  admit  only  what  appears  to  me  true,  consistent, 
and  useful.  Hence,  St.  Augustine  says  :  "  You  who  believe 
what  you  please,  and  reject  what  you  please,  believe 
yourselves  or  your  own  fancy,  rather  than  the  Gospel." 
The  faith  of  the  Protestant,  then,  is  based  upon  his  pri 
vate  judgment  alone  ;  it  is  human.  As  his  judgment  is 
alterable,  he  naturally  holds  that  his  faith  and  doctrine  is 
alterable  at  will,  and  is  therefore  continually  changing  it. 
Evidently,  then,  he  does  not  hold  it  to  be  the  truth  j  for 
truth  never  changes.  Nor  does  he  hold  it  to  be  the  law  of 
God,  which  he  is  bound  to  ob^y  j  for;  if  the  law  of  God 

252  THE    NINTH    ARTICLE    OF 

be  alterable  at  all,  it  can  only  be  altered  by  God  himself, 
never  by  man,  any  body  of  men,  or  any  creature  of  God. 

But  some  Protestants,  for  instance,  the  Anglicans,  think 
that  they  approach  very  near  to  the  Catholic  Church, 
They  will  tell  you  that  their  prayers  and  ceremonies  are 
like  many  prayers  and  ceremonies  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
that  their  creed  is  the  Apostles'  Creed.  But,  in  principle, 
they  are  all  equally  far  off.  Thus  they  profess  to  believe 
in  one  Church,  which  has,  unfortunately,  become  half  a 
dozen  ;  in  unity,  which  ceased  to  exist  long  ago,  for  want 
of  a  centre ;  in  authority,  which  nobody  needs  obey, 
because  it  has  lost  the  power  to  teach  j  in  God's  presence 
with  the  Church,  which  does  not  keep  her  from  stupid 
errors  j  in  divine  promises,  which  were  only  made  to  be 
broken ;  in  a  divine  constitution,  which  needs  to  be 
periodically  reformed  j  in  a  mission  to  teach  all  nations, 
while  she  is  unable  to  teach  even  herself;  in  saints,  to 
whom  Anglicans  would  be  objects  of  horror  and  aversion  ; 
and  in  the  sanctity  of  truths  which  their  own  sect  has 
always  defiled,  and  which  are  profanely  mocked  at  this 
hour  by  its  bishops,  clergy,  and  people,  all  around  them. 
The  world  has  had  occasion  to  admire,  in  various  ages, 
many  curious  products  of  human  imbecility,  but  at  no  time, 
and  among  no  people,  has  it  seen  anything  which  could  be 
matched  with  this.  Compared  with  Anglicanism  and  its 
myriad  contradictions,  the  wildest  phantom  which  ever 
mocked  the  credulity  of  distempered  fanaticism  was  a 
form  of  truth  and  beauty,  a  model  of  exact  reasoning  and 
logical  symmetry. 

Even  an  untutored  Indian  chief,  by  the  aid  of  his  rude 
common-sense,  and  the  mere  intuition  of  natural  truth,  does 
not  fail  to  see  the  folly  of  Protestant  belief,  and  confounds 


/  /  / 

and  ridicules  it  before  those  Protestant  missionaries  who 

come  to  convert  his  tribe  to  Protestantism.  Elder 
Alexander  Campbell,  in  a  lecture  before  the  American 
Christian  Missionary  Association,  relates  the  following : 
"  Sectarian  missionaries  had  gone  am6ng  the  Indians  to 
disseminate  religious  sentiments.  A  council  was  called, 
and  the  missionaries  explained  the  object  of  their  visit. 
'Is  not  all  the  religion  of  a  white  man  in  a  book?'  quoth 
a  chief.  *  Yes/  replied  the  missionaries.  '  Do  not  all 
white  men  read  the  book  ? J  continued  the  chief.  Another 
affirmative  response.  i  Do  they  all  agree  upon  what  it 
says  ? 7  inquired  the  chief,  categorically.  There  was  a 
dead  silence  for  some  moments.  At  last  one  of  the  mis 
sionaries  replied :  i  Not  exactly  ;  they  differ  upon  some 
doctrinal  points.'  i  Go  home,  white  man/  said  the  chief, 
1  call  a  council,  and,  when  the  white  men  all  agree,  then 
come  teach  the  red  men  \ J  J 

The  absurdity  of  Protestantism  being  so  easily  perceived 
by  the  rude  child  of  the  forest,  Protestantism  has  never 
been  able  to  convert  a  heathen  nation,  although  it  has  £very 
human  means  in  its  power.  It  has  a  vast  number  of 
ministers,  plenty  of  ships  to  carry  these  ministers  to  every 
country,  boundless  wealth,  and  great  armies  and  navies  to 
terrify  the  heathen,  also  its  merchants  scattered  through 
every  quarter  of  the  globe ;  with  all  this,  Protestantism 
has  not  converted  a  nation,  nor  even  a  city  or  tribe,  of 
heathens  to  Christianity,  after  three  hundred  years7  exist 
ence.  It  has  been  ascertained  that,  during  the  last  fifty 
years,  Protestantism,  in  Europe  and  America,  has  collected 
and  spent  over  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  millions  of 
dollars,  for  the  purpose  of  converting  the  heathens.  One 
hundred  millions  of  Bibles,  Testaments,  and  tracts,  have 


been  printed  in  various  languages,  and  scattered  throughout 
the  world  for  the  same  purpose.  Five  thousand  mission 
aries,  with  large  salaries,  varying  from  a  hundred  to  five 
hundred  pounds  each,  and  also  an  additional  allowance  for 
their  wives  and  families,  are  kept  annually  employed  in 
the  work,  and  yet  all  to  no  purpose.  No  result  whatever 
can  be  shown. 

During  every  month  of  May,  the  various  sects  of 
Protestants  hold  their  anniversary  meetings  in  London  and 
New  York.  At  these  gatherings  speeches  are  made  and 
reports  read,  in  which  the  people  are  told  of  the  wonder 
ful  conversions  that  are  just  going  to  take  place ;  of  a 
great  door  opened  for  the  Gospel  j  of  fields  white  for  the 
harvest  j  of  bright  anticipations  j  of  missionaries  who  now 
enjoy  the  confidence  of  the  natives  j  of  Pagans  stretching, 
or  who  are  about  to  stretch,  forth  their  hands  to  God 
immediately  ;  of  printing-presses  which  are  in  constant 
operation ;  of  schools  to  be  opened ;  of  sums  spent  in 
Bibles  5  of  Bibles,  Testaments,  and  tracts  distributed. 
Every  promise  is  made  for  the  future,  but  nothing  what 
ever  is  shown  for  the  past.  The  meetings  are  ended, 
votes  of  thanks  are  given  to  the  various  chairmen, 
prayers  said,  subscriptions  received,  and  the  huge  delusion 
lives  on  from  year  to  year. 

Some  of  the  missionaries  give  up  the  work  in  despair, 
others  in  disgust.  Some  run  away  from  the  first  appear 
ance  of  danger  j  others  fly  from  persecution,  b^ing  terrified 
at  the  very  idea  of  martyrdom.  One  missionary  comes 
back  to  his  native  country,  because  of  the  sudden  death 
of  his  wife ;  another,  to  bury  his  youngest  daughter  in 
Ler  mother's  grave  j  another  leaves  the  field  of  his 
missionary  labors,  to  console  his  dear  mother  on  her 

CREED.  255 

death-bed ;  another  comes  home  to  look  after  some  small 
property  left  him  by  his  father,  who  recently  died  j  one 
comes  home  to  preserve  the  life  of  a  delicate  child,  who 
did  not  seem  to  thrive  in  the  place  where  he  was  stationed  j 
another  left  to  attend  to  the  education  of  his  children, 
whom  he  could  not  feel  in  his  heart  to  rear  up  amongst 
Pagans ;  another  comes  home,  because  his  wife  has 
quarrelled  with  the  wives  of  some  of  the  cither  mission 
aries  5  another,  to  be  present  at  his  eldest  daughter's 
marriage.  Ma'ny  Protestant  missionaries  give  up  the 
work  of  saVing  souls  for  more  lucrative  pursuits,  such  as, 
good  commercial  or  government  situations,  or  to  become 
merchants  on  their  own  account  j  whilst  a  few,  possessed 
of  sufficient  ability,  have  become  newspaper  correspdnd- 
ents ;  and  more  than  one,  instead  of  converting  the 
Pagans,  have  themselves  become  converts  to  the  Jewish 
and  Mahometan  religions,  having  got  rich  wives  of  these 

Protestant  travellers  and  writers  who  have  visited  the 
fields  of  Protestant  missionary  l^bor,  have  themselves 
fiirnished  the  world  with  these  details.  They  tell  of  a  few 
converts  here  and  there,  who  relapse  into  paganism  when 
ever  the  missionaries  withdraw.  They  tell  us  that  the 
missionaries  become  tyrants,  and  persecute  the  people 
when  they  get  the  chance  ;  that  they  drive  the  natives  into 
the  Protestant  meeting-houses  by  force,  and  make  them 
more  brtital,  profligate,  crafty,  treacherous,  impure,  and 
disgusting,  than  they  were  before.  One  writer  states  how 
he  found,  in  the  Sandwich  Islands,  that  the  Protestant 
missionaries  had  civilized  the  people  into  draught-horses, 
and  evangelized  them  into  beasts  of  burden ;  that  they 
were  literally  broken  into  the  traces;  and  harnessed  to  the 


vehicles  of  their  spiritual  instructors,  like  so  many  beasts 
of  burden.  The  poor  natives  are  compelled  to  draw  their 
pastors,  as  well  as  their  wives  and  daughters,  to  church, 
to  market,  or  for  pleasure,  and  are  whipped  like  horses. 
The  same  writer  says,  the  missionaries  destroy  heathenism, 
and  the  heathens  also  j  that  they  extirpate  Paganism  and 
the  people  at  the  same  time  j  that  the  natives  are  robbed 
of  their  land,  in  the  name  of  religion,  and  that  disease, 
vice,  and  premature  death,  make  their  appearance  together 
with  Protestantism.  The  missionaries  are  dwelling  in 
picturesque  and  prettily  furnished  coral-rock  villas,  while 
the  miserable  natives  are  committing  all  sorts  of  crime  and 
immorality  around  them.  The  depopulated  land  is  recruited 
from  the  rapacious  hordes  of  enlightened  individuals  who 
settle  within  its  borders,  and  clamorously  announce  the  pro 
gress  of  the  truth.  Neat  villas,  trim  gardens,  shaven  lawns, 
spires,  and  cupolas  arise,  while  the  poor  savage  soon  finds 
himself  an  interloper  in  the  country  of  his  fathers,  arid 
that,  too,  on  the  very  site  of  the  hut  where  he  was  born. 

When  will  Protestants  learn  wisdom  from  the  rude  child 
of  the  forest  ?  When  will  they  see  the  absurdity  of  their 
teaching?  It  is  strange  how  men  will  put  their  reason 
in  their  pocket,  and  prefer  darkness  to  light,  error  to  truth, 
folly  to  wisdom. 

That  man  might  know  what  to  believe,  Christ,  who 
alone  could  tell  him,  founded  the  Roman  Catholic  Church, 
to  be^  forever  "  the  pillar  and  ground  of  truth."  Whoever 
declines  to  follow  this  guide,  must  live  without  any  sure 
guide.  There  is.  no  other,  because  God  has  given  no 
other.  Hence  Pius  IX  spoke  lately  of  Protestantism,  in  all 
its  forms,  as  "  revolt  against  God,"  it  being  an  attempt 
to  substitute  a  human  for  a  divine  authority,  and  a 


declaration  of  the  creature's  independence  of  the  Creator 
The  creed  of  the  apostate  has  only  one  article.  If  God, 
it  proclaims,  chose  to  found  a  church  without  consulting 
man,  it  is  quite  open  to  man  to  abolish  the  church  with 
out  consulting  God. 

A  body  which  has  lost  the  principle  of  its  animation 
becomes  dust.  Hence  it  is  an  axiom  that  the  change  or 
perversion  of  the  principles  by  which  anything  was  pro 
duced,  is  the  destruction  of  that  very  thing :  if  you  can 
change  or  pervert  the  principles  from  which  anything 
springs,  you  destroy  it.  For  instance,  one  single  foreign 
element  introduced  into  the  blood  produces  death  j  one 
false  assumption  admitted  into  science  destroys  its  cer 
tainty  ;  one  false  principle  admitted  into  faith  and  morals 
is  fatal.  The  Reformers  started  wrong.  They  would 
reform  the  Church,  by  placing  her  under  human  control. 
Their  successors  have,  in  each  generation,  found  they  did 
not  go  far  enough,  and  have,  each  in  turn,  struggled  to 
push  it  further  and  further,  till  they  find  themselves 
withdut  any  church  life,  without  faith,  without  religion, 
and  beginning  to  doubt  if  there  be  even  a  God. 

It  is  a  well-known  fact  that,  before  the  Reformation, 
infidels  were  scarcely  known  in  the  Christian  world. 
Since  that  event  they  have  come  forth  in  swarms.  It  is 
from  the  writings  of  Herbert,  Hobbes,  Bloum,  Shaftes- 
bury,  Bolingbroke,  and  Boyle,  that  Voltaire  and  his  party 
drew  the  objections  and  errors  which  they  have  brought 
so  generally  into  fashion  in  the  world.  According  to 
Diderot  and  d'Alembert,  the  first  step  that  the  untract- 
able  Catholic  takes  is  to  adopt  the  Protestant  principle  of 
private  judgment.  He  establishes  himself  judge  of  his 
religion — leaves  and  joins  the  reform.  Dissatisfied  with 


the  incoherent  doctrines  he  there  discovers,  he  passe? 
over  to  the  Socinians,  whose  inconsequences  soon  drive 
him  into  Deism.  Still  pursued  by  unexpected  difficulties, 
he  finds  refuge  in  universal  doubt ;  but  still  haunted  by 
uneasiness,  he  at  length  resolves  to  take  the  last  step,  and 
proceeds  to  terminate  the  long  chain  of  his  errors  in 
infidelity.  Let  us  not  forget  that  the  first  link  of  ^this 
chain  is  attached  to  the  fundamental  maxim  of  private 
judgment.  They  judged  of  religion  as  they  did  of  their 
breakfast  and  dinner.  A  religion  was  good  or  bad,  true 
or  false,  just  as  it  suited  their  tastes,  their  likings ;  their 
religious  devotion  varied  like  the  weather  j  they  must  feel 
it  as  they  felt  the  heat  and  cold. 

New  fashions  of  belief  sprang  up,  and  changed,  and 
disappeared,  as  rapidly  as  the  new  fashions  of  dress. 
Men  judged  not  only  of  every  revealed  doctrine,  but  they 
also  judged  of  the  Bible  itself.  Protestantism,  having 
no  authority,  could  not  check  this  headlong  tendency  to 
unbelief.  Its  ministers  dare  no  longer  preach  or  teach 
any  doctrine  which  is  displeasing  to  the  people.  Every 
Protestant  preacher  who  wishes  to  be  heard,  and  to  retain 
his  salary,  must  first  feel  the  pulse  of  his  hearers ;  he  must 
make  himself  the  slave  of  their  opinions  and  likings. 

It  is,  therefore,  historically  correct  that  the  same  prin 
ciple  that  created  Protestantism  three  centuries  ago  has 
never  ceased,  since  that  time,  to  spin  it  out  into  a  thousand 
different  sects,  and  has  concluded  by  covering  Europe  and 
America  with  that  multitude  of  free-thinkers  and  infidels 
who  place  these  countries  on  the  verge  of  ruin. 

What  is  the  spiritual  life  of  Protestants  ?  They  seem 
to  have  lost  all  spiritual  conceptions,  and  no  longer  to 
possess  any  spiritual  aspiration.  Lacking,  as  they  do,  the 


light,  the  warmth,  arid  the  life-giving  power  of  the  sun 
of  the  Catholic  Church,  they  seem  to  have  become,  or  to 
be  near  becoming,  what  our  world  would  be  if  there  were 
no  sun  in  the  heavens. 

For  this  reason  it  is  that  Protestants  are  so  completely 
absorbed  in  temporal  interests,  in  the  things  that  fall  under 
their  senses,  that  their  whole  life  is  only  materialism  put 
in  action.  Lucre  is  the  sole  object  on  which  their  eyes 
are  constantly  fixed.  A  burning  thirst  to  realize  some 
profit,  great  or  small,  absorbs  all  their  faculties,  the  whole 
energy  of  their  being.  They  never  pursue  anything  with 
ardor  but  riches  and  enjoyments.  God,  the  soul,  a  future 
life, — they  believe  in  none  of  them  ;  or  rather,  they  never 
think  about  them  at  all.  If  they  ever  take  up  a  moral  or 
a  religious  book,  or  go  to  a  meeting-house,  it  is  only  by 
way  of  amusement — to  pass  the  time  away.  It  is  a  less 
serious  occupation  than  smoking  a  pipe,  or  drinking  a  cup 
of  tea.  If  you  speak  to  them  about  the  foundations  of 
faith,  of  the  principles  of  Christianity,  of  the  importance 
of  salvation,  the  certainty  of  a  life  beyond  the  grave, — all 
these  truths  which  so  powerfully  impress  a  mind  suscepti 
ble  of  religious  feeling,  —they  listen  with  a  certain  pleasure  ; 
for  it  amuses  them,  and  piques  their  curiosity.  In  their 
opinion  all  this  is  "  true,  fine,  grand."  They  deplore  the 
blindness  of  men  who  attach  themselves  to  the  perish 
able  goods  of  this  world ;  perhaps  they  will  even  give 
utterance  to  some  fine  sentences  on  the  happiness  of 
knowing  the  true  God,  of  serving  him,  and  of  meriting  by 
this  means  the  reward  of  eternal  life.  They  simply  never 
think  of  religion  at  all,  they  like  very  well  to  talk  about 
it,  but  it  is  as  of  a  thing  not  made  for  them, — a  thing  with 
which;  personally,  they  have  nothing  to  do.  This  indif- 


ference  they  carry  so  far, — religious  sensibility  is  so  enti/ely 
withered  or  dead  within  them, — that  they  care  not  a  straw 
whether  a  doctrine  is  true  or  false,  good  or  bad.  Religion 
is  to  them  simply  a  fashion,  which  those  may  follow  who 
have  a  taste  for  it.  "  By  and  by,  all  in  good  time,"  they 
say  ;  "  one  should  never  be  precipitate  ;  it  is  not  good  to  be 
too  enthusiastic.  No  doubt  the  Catholic  religion  is  beau 
tiful  and  sublime ;  its  doctrine  explains,  with  method  and 
clearness,  all  that  is  necessary  for  man  to  know.  Whoever 
has  any  sense  will  see  that,  and  will  adopt  it  in  his  heart 
in  all  sincerity  ;  but  after  all,  one  must  not  think  too  much 
of  these  things,  and  increase  the  cares  of  life.  Now,  just 
consider  we  have  a  body :  how  many  cares  it  demands ! 
It  must  be  clothed,  fed,  and  sheltered  from  the  injuries  of 
the  weather  ;  its  infirmities  are  great,  and  its  maladies  are 
numerous,  It  is  agreed  on  all  hands  that  health  is  our  most 
precious  good.  This  body  that  we  see,  that  we  touch, 
must  be  taken  qare  of  every  day,  and  every  moment  of  the 
day.  Is  not  this  enough,  without  troubling  ourselves  about 
a  soul  that  we  never  see  ?  The  life  of  man  is  short  arid 
full  of  misery  j  it  is  made  up  of  a  succession  of  important 
concerns,  that  follow  one  another  without  interruption. 
Our  hearts  and  our  minds  are  scarcely  sufficient  for  the 
solicitudes  of  the  present  life :  is  it  wise,  then,  to  torment 
one's  self  about  the  future  ?  Is  it  not  far  better  to  live  in 
blessed  ignorance  ?  " 

Ask  them,  what  would  you  think  of  a  traveller  who,  on 
finding  himself  at  a  dilapidated  inn,  open  to  all  the  winds, 
and  deficient  in  the  necessaries  of  life,  should  spend 
all  his  time  in  trying  how  he  could  make  himself  most  com 
fortable  in  it,  without  ever  thinking  of  preparing  himself 
for  his  departure,  and  his  return  into  the  bosom  of  hid 


family  ?  Would  this  traveller  be  acting  in  a  wise  and 
reasonable  manner  ?  "  No,"  they  will  reply  ;  "  one  must 
not  travel  in  that  way.  But  man,  nevertheless,  must  confine 
himself  within  proper  limits.  How  can  he  provide  for  two 
lives  at  the  same  time  1  I  take  care  of  this  life,  and  the 
care  of  the  other  I  leave  to  God.  If  a  traveller  ought  not 
regularly  to  take  up  his  abode  at  an  inn,  neither  ought  he 
to  travel  on  two  roads  at  the  same  time.  When  one  wishes 
to  cross  a  river,  it  will  not  do  to  have  two  boats,  and  set  a 
foot  in  each  :  such  a  proceeding  would  involve  the  risk  of 
a  tumble  into  the  water,  and  drowning  one's  self.77  Such  is 
the  deep  abyss  of  religious  indifferentism  into  which  so 
many  Protestants  of  our  day  have  fallen,  and  from  which 
they  naturally  fall  into  one  deeper  still :  infidelity. 

15.  Will  such  human  faith  save  them  ? 

No ,  for  St.  Paul  says  :  u  It  is  impossible  to  please  God 
without  faith."  (Heb.  xi,  6.) 

To  be  saved,  we  must  do  the  will  of  God :  "  Not  every 
one  that  saith  to  me  Lord,  Lord,  shall  enter  into  the 
kingdom  of  heaven  ;  but  he  that  doth  the  will  of  my 
Father  who  is  in  heaven,  he  shall  enter  into  the  kingdom 
of  heaven."  (Matt,  vii,  21.)  The  will  of  God  the  Father 
is  that  men  hear  and  believe  his  Son,  Jesus  Christ : 
"  This  is  my  well-beloved  Son.  Him  you  shall  hear." 
Now,  Jesus  Christ  said  to  his  apostles  and  their  lawful 
successors  :  a  He  that  heareth  you  heareth  me,  and  he  that 
despiseth  you  despiseth  me  5  and  he  that  despiseth  me 
despiseth  him  that  sent  me," — the  heavenly  Father.  Now, 
Protestants  despise  God  the  Father,  because  they  do  not 
listen  to  his  Son  speaking  to  them  through  Peter  and  the 
apostles,  in  their  lawful  successors.  Turning,  as  they  do, 
tlieir  back  upon  them  most  contemptuously,  they  follow 


their  own  will  in  all  religious  matters.  Assuredly  no 
Protestant  would  engage  and  pay  a  servant  who  would 
tell  him,  "  I  will  serve  you  according  to  my  will,  not 
according  to  yours."  How,  then,  could  God  the  Failier 
admit  one  into  his  kingdom  who  has  always  refused  to  do 
his  will, — who,  instead  of  learning  the  will  of  God,  the 
full  doctrine  of  Christ,  through  the  Catholic  Church,  was 
himself  his  own  teacher,  his  own  lawgiver,  his  own  judge, 
in  religious  matters?  Every  one  who  is  not  a  Catholic 
should  remember  that  there  never  was  a  time,  from  the 
beginning  of  the  world,  when  God  left  men  free  to  fashion 
their  own  religion,  to  invent  their  own  creed  and  their 
own  form  of  worship.  Christ  never  designed  that  the 
sacred  truths  of  his  religion  should  be  submitted  to  the 
people  by  the  apostles  and  their  successors  for  discussion, 
for  criticism,  and  for  private  interpretation,  with  liberty 
to  alter  and  amend,  or  reject  them,  as  ignorance,  prejudice, 
or  caprice  might  dictate.  He  never  submitted  his 
doctrines  to  the  opinions  or  criticisms  of  the  Scribes, 
Pharisees,  or  Sadducees  of  Jerusalem,  or  the  learned 
Pagan  philosophers  j  he  never  sanctioned  what  is  termed, 
in  modern  times,  "  freedom  of  conscience  "  and  "  private 
interpretation;"  on  the  contrary,  from  the  beginning  of 
the  world,  God  established  on  earth  a  visible  teaching 
authority,  to  which  it  was  the  bounden  duty  of  every 
man  to  submit,  if  he  would  be  saved.  If  one,  then,  who 
is  not  a  Catholic,  seriously  considers  the  question,  "  Is  it 
God  that  speaks  through  the  Catholic  Church  f  he  fulfils 
a  most  sacred  duty,  and  acts  according  to  reason.  Far 
from  offending  God,  he  honors  him  by  using  his  reason  to 
distinguish  the  voice  of  God  from  that  of  man — the 
supreme,  divine  authority  from  mere  human  authority. 


But  as  soon  as  he  is  convinced  that  the  authority  of  the 
Church  is  from  God,  he  is  bound  to  believe  most  firmly 
all  that  he  is  told  on  this  authority.  Common-sense  tells 
him  that,  when  he  hears  God  speak,  he  hears  nothing  but 
truth ;  no  matter  whether  or  not  he  understands  it,  he  is 
obliged  to  say,  Amen,  it  is  so.  "  Without  such  faith" 
says  St.  Paul,  "  it  is  impossible  to  please  God." 

Take  the  case  of  one  who  is  not  a  Catholic,  but  who 
has  studied  all  the  doctrines  of  the  Church.  He  makes 
up  his  mind  that  all  that  the  Church  teaches  is  reason 
able  and  consistent  with  holy  Scripture,  and  so  he  believes, 
and  becomes  a  Catholic.  Is  his  faith  divine  ?  Does  he 
become  a  Catholic  in  the  right  way  ?  No  ;  his  faith  is 
based,  as  yet,  on  individual  reason  alone. 

There  is  another.  He  considers  the  antiquity  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church  j  her  unity  in  faith  j  the  purity  and 
holiness  of  her  doctrine  ;  her  establishment  by  poor  fisher 
men  all  over  the  world,  in  spite  of  all  kinds  of  opposition  ; 
her  invariable  duration  from  the  time  of  the  apostles  j  the 
miracles  which  are  wrought  in  her  ;  the  holiness  of  all  those 
who  live  according  to  her  laws  5  the  deep  science  of  her 
doctors 5  the  almost  infinite  number  of  her  martyrs  5  the 
peace  of  mind  and  happiness  of  soul  experienced  by  those 
who  have  entered  her  bosom  ;  the  fact  that  all  Protestants 
admit  that  a  faithful  Catholic  will  be  saved  in  his  religion  5 
the  frightful  punishment  inflicted  by  God  upon  all  the 
persecutors  of  the  Catholic  Church  ;  the  melancholy  death 
of  the  authors  of  heresies ;  the  constant  fulfilment  of  the 
words  of  our  Lord,  that  his  Church  would  always  be 
persecuted.  He  seriously  considers  all  this  ;  he  is  enlight 
ened  by  God's  grace  to  see  that  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church  alone  is  the  true  Church  of  Jesus  Christ;  he  is 


convinced  that  her  authority  is  from  God,  and  that  to  hear 
and  obey  her  authority  is  to  hear  and  obey  God  himself: 
and  so  he  accepts  and  believes  all  that  she  teaches,  because 
it  comes  to  him  on  the  authority  of  God,  and  therefore  must 
be  true  ;  not  because  he  himself  sees  liow  or  why  it  is  true. 
This  is  true  divine  faith — this  is  the  right  way  to  become 
a  Catholic.  Such  faith  is  absolutely  necessary.  It  is 
necessary  by  necessity  of  precept.  Our  blessed  Lord 
says  :  "  He  that  belie veth  and  is  baptized  shall  be  saved. 
He  that  believeth  not  shall  be  condemned."  This  pre 
cept  is  affirmative;  in  as  far  as  it  obliges  us  to  believe  all 
that  God  has  revealed ;  it  is  negative,  in  as  far  as  it  for 
bids  us  to  hold  any  opinions  contrary  to  the  revealed  truth. 
Such  faith  is  necessary  by  necessity  of  medium,  for, 
"  without  faith,  it  is  impossible  to  please  God,"  (Heb.  xi, 
6.)  "If  you  believe  not,  you  shall  die  in  your  sins." 
(John  v,  38  ;  viii,  27.) 

16.  Must,  then,  all  who  wish  to  be  saved  die  united  to 
the  Catholic  Church  ? 

Yes  ;  for  out  of  the  Catholic  Church  there  is  no  salvation  : 
1,  because  she  alone  teaches  the  true  faith  ;  2,  because  in 
her  alone  are  found  the  means  of  grace  and  salvation. 

Our  divine  Saviour  says :  "  No  one  can  come  to  the 
Father  except  through  me."  If  we  then  wish  to  enter 
heaven,  we  must  be  united  to  Christ, — to  his  body,  which 
is  the  Church,  as  St.  Paul  says.  We  must  then  be  united 
to  his  Church.  Therefore  out  of  that  Church  there  is  no 

Again,  Jesus  Christ  says :  Whoever  will  not  hear  the 
Church,  look  upon  him  as  a  heathen  and  a  great  sinner. 
Therefore,  out  of  the  Church  there  is  no  salvation. 

Holy  Scripture  says  ( Acts  ii,  47)  :    "  The  Lord  added 

*  See  Predestination — Vol.  on  Grace  and  Sacraments,  p.  117. 



daily  to  the  Church  such  as  should  be  saved."  Therefore 
the  apostles  believed,  and  the  holy  Scriptures  teach,  that 
there  is  no  salvation  out  of  the  Church. 

Hence  the  Fathers  of  the  Church  never  hesitated  to 
pronounce  all  those  forever  lost  who  die  out  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church :  "  He  who  has  not  the  Church 
for  his  mother,"  says  St.  Cyprian,  "  cannot  have  God 
for  his  Father  j"  and  with  him  the  Fathers  in  general  say 
that,  "as  all  who  were  not  in  the  ark  of  Noe  perished  in 
the  waters  of  the  Deluge,  so  shall  all  perish  who  are  out 
of  the  true  Church."  St.  Augustine  and  the  other  bishops 
of  Africa,  at  the  Council  of  Zirta,  A.  D.  412,  say  :  "  Who 
soever  is  separated  from  the  Catholic  Church,  however 
commendable  in  his  own  opinion  his  life  may  be,  he 
shall,  for  the  very  reason  that  he  is  separated  from  the 
union  of  Christ,  not  see  life,  but  the  wrath  of  God  abideth 
on  him."  Therefore,  says  St.  Augustine,  u  a  Christian 
ought  to  fear  nothing  so  much  as  to  be  separated  from 
the  body  of  Christ  (the  Church).  For,  if  he  be  separated 
from  the  body  of  Christ,  he  is  not  a  member  of  Christ  j 
if  not  a  member  of  Christ,  he  is  not  quickened  by  his 
Spirit."  (Tract,  xxvii,  in  Joan.,  n.  6,  col.  1992,  torn,  iii.) 

uln  our  times,"  says  Pius  IX,  "  many  of  the  enemies  of 
the  Catholic  faith  direct  their  efforts  toward  placing  every 
monstrous  opinion  on  the  same  level  with  the  doctrine  of 
Christ,  or  confounding  it  therewith ;  and  so  they  try  more 
and  more  to  propagate  that  impious  system  of  the  indiffer 
ence  of  religions.  But  quite  of  late,  we  shudder  to  say  it, 
certain  men  have  not  hesitated  to  slander  us  by  saying 
that  we  share  in  their  folly,  favor  that  most  wicked  sys 
tem,  and  think  so  benevolently  of  every  class  of  mankind 
as  to  suppose  that  not  only  the  sons  of  the  Church,  but 


that  the  rest  also,  however  alienated  from  Catholic  unity 
they  may  remain,  are  alike  in  the  way  of  salvation,  and 
may  arrive  at  everlasting  life.  We  are  at  a  loss,  from 
horror,  to  find  words  to  express  our  detestation  of 'this  new 
and  atrocious  injustice  that  is  done  us.  We  love,  indeed, 
all  mankind  with  the  inmost  affection  of  our  hearts,  yet 
not  otherwise  than  in  the  love  of  God  and  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  who  came  to  seek  and  to  save  that  which  had 
perished,  who  died  for  all,  who  wills  all  men  to  be  saved, 
and  to  come  to  the  knowledge  of  the  truth ;  who,  there 
fore,  sent  his  disciples  into  the  whole  world  to  preach  the 
Gospel  to  every  creature,  proclaiming  that  those  who 
should  believe  and  be  baptized  should  be  saved,  but  that 
those  who  should  not  believe  should  be  condemned.  Let 
those,  therefore,  who  wish  to  be  saved,  come  to  the  pillar 
and  the  ground  of  faith,  which  is  the  Church  5  let  them 
come  to  the  true  Church  of  Christ,  which,  in  her  bishops 
and  in  the  Roman  Pontiff,  the  chief  head  of  all,  has  the 
succession  of  apostolical  authority  which  has  never  been 
interrupted,  which  has  never  counted  anything  of  greater 
importance  than  to  preach,  and  by  all  means  to  keep  and 
defend  the  doctrine  proclaimed  by  the  apostles  at  Christ's 
command.  This  apostolical  authority  of  the  Church  has, 
from  the  apostles'  time,  ever  increased  in  the  midst  of 
difficulties  of  every  kind  ;  it  has  become  illustrious  through 
out  the  whole  world,  by  the  splendor  of  miracles  and  by 
the  blood  of  martyrs ;  it  has  been  exalted  by  the  virtues 
of  confessors  and  virgins  j  it  has  been  strengthened  by  the 
most  wise  testimonies  and  writings  of  the  Fathers  j  it  has 
flourished,  and  does  flourish,  in  all  the  regions  of  the  earth, 
and  shines  refulgent  in  the  perfect  unity  of  faith,  of  sacra 
ments,  and  of  holy  discipline.  We  who,  though  unworthy, 


hold  this  supreme  See  of  the  Apostle  Peter,  wherein 
Christ  has  laid  the  foundation  of  the  same  Church  of  his, 
shall  never  at  any  time  abstain  from  any  cares  or  labors 
that,  by  the  grace  of  Christ  himself,  we  may  bring  those 
who  are  ignorant,  and  who  are  going  astray,  to  this  only 
road  of  truth  and  salvation.  But  let  all  those  who  oppose 
themselves,  remember  that  heaven  and  earth  shall  indeed 
pass  away,  but  that  nothing  can  ever  pass  away  of  the  words 
of  Christ,  nor  change  be  made  in  the  doctrine  which  the 
Catholic  Church  has  received  from  Christ,  to  be  kept, 
defended,  and  preached.'7  (Allocution  to  the  Cardinals, 
held  on  the  17th  Dec.,  1847.) 

17.  Who  are  not  members  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  ? 

All  unbaptized  persons^  unbelieverSj  apostates ,  heretics, 
and  all  excommunicated  persons. 

But  how  do  we  know  that  unbaptized  persons  are  not 
saved  1  We  know  it,  because  Jesus  Christ  has  said  :  "  Un 
less  a  man  be  born  again  of  water  and  the  Holy  Ghost,  he 
cannot  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  God."  (John  iii,  5.) 

Heaven  is  the  union  of  Almighty  God  with  the  elect, — 
those  who  are  quite  pure,  without  the  least  stain  of 
sin.  But  God,  who  is  holiness  itself,  cannot  unite  himself 
to  a  soul  that  is  in  sin.  Now,  as  those  who  die  without 
baptism  remain  forever  stained  with  original  sin,  they  can 
never  be  united  to  Almighty  God  in  heaven. 

And  why  are  unbelievers  and  apostates  lost  ?  Unbe 
lievers  and  apostates  are  lost,  because  it  is  said  that, 
"  without  faith,  it  is  impossible  to  please  God."  In  our 
day  and  country,  it  is  become  fashionable  for  a  large 
number  of  men  to  have  no  religion,  and  even  to  boast  of 
having  none.  To  have  no  religion  is  a  great  crime  ;  but 
to  boast  of  having  none  is  the  height  of  folly. 


The  man  without  religion  is  a  slave  to  the  most  degrad 
ing  superstition.  Instead  of  worshipping  the  true,  free, 
living  God,  who  governs  all  things  by  his  providence,  he 
bows  before  the  horrid  phantom  of  blind  chance  or  inexor 
able  destiny.  He  is  a  man  who  obstinately  refuses  to  believe 
the  most  solidly  established  facts  in  favor  of  religion,  and 
yet,  with  blind  credulity,  greedily  swallows  the  most  absurd 
falsehoods  uttered  against  religion.  He  is  a  man  whose 
reason  has  fled,  and  whose  passions  speak,  object,  and  decide 
in  the  name  of  reason.  He  is  sunk  in  the  grossest 
ignorance  regarding  religion.  He  blasphemes  what  he  does 
not  understand.  He  rails  at  the  doctrines  of  the  Church, 
without  knowing  really  what  her  doctrines  are.  He  sneers 
at  the  doctrines  and  practices  of  religion,  because  he  can 
not  refute  them.  He  speaks  with  the  utmost  gravity  of 
the  fine  arts,  the  fashions,  and  matters  the  most  trivial,  while 
he  turns  the  most  sacred  subjects  into  ridicule.  In  the 
midst  of  his  own  circle  of  fops  and  silly  women,  he  utters 
his  shallow  conceits  with  all  the  pompous  assurance  of  a 

But  why  is  it  that  he  makes  his  impious  doctrines 
the  subject  of  conversation  on  every  occasion  I  It  is, 
of  course,  first  to  communicate  his  devilish  principles  to 
others,  and  make  them  as  bad  as  he  himself  is ;  but  this 
is  not  the  only  reason.  The  good  Catholic  seldom  speaks 
of  his  religion  ;  he  feels  assured,  by  the  grace  of  God, 
that  his  religion  is  the  only  true  one,  and  that  he  will  be 
saved  if  he  lives  up  to  it.  Such  is  not  the  case  with  the 
infidel ;  he  is  constantly  tormented  in  his  soul :  "  There  is 
no  peace,  no  happiness  for  the  impious,"  says  the  holy 
Scripture.  He  tries  to  quiet  the  fears  of  his  soul,  the  re 
morse  of  his  conscience  j  so  he  communicates  to  others, 


on  every  occasion,  his  perverse  principles,  hoping  to  meet 
with  some  of  his  fellow-men  who  may  approve  of  his 
impious  views,  that  he  thus  may  find  some  relief  for  his 
interior  torments.  He  resembles  a  timid  man,  who  is 
obliged  to  travel  during  a  dark  night,  and  who  begins  to 
sing  and  cry  out,  in  order  to  keep  away  fear.  The  infidel 
is  a  sort  of  night-traveller ;  he  travels  in  the  horrible 
darkness  of  his  impiety.  His  interior  conviction  tells  him 
that  there  is  a  God  who  will  certainly  punish  him  in  the 
most  awful  manner.  This  fills  him  with  great  fear,  and 
makes  him  extremely  unhappy  every  moment  of  his  life  ;  he 
cannot  bear  the  sight  of  a  Catholic  church,  of  a  Catholic 
procession,  of  an  image  of  our  Lord,  of  a  picture  of  a 
saint,  of  a  prayer-book,  of  a  good  Catholic,  of  a  priest  j 
in  a  word,  he  cannot  bear  anything  that  reminds  him  of 
God,  of  religion,  of  his  own  guilt  and  impiety  :  so,  on 
every  occasion,  he  cries  out  against  faith  in  God,  in  all 
that  God  has  revealed  and  proposes  to  us  for  our  belief 
by  the  holy  Catholic  Church.  What  is  the  object  of  his 
impious  cries  ?  It  is  to  deafen,  to  keep  down,  in  some 
measure,  the  clamors  of  his  conscience.  Our  hand  will 
involuntarily  touch  that  part  of  the  body  where  we  feel 
pain ;  in  like  manner,  the  tongue  of  the  infidel  touches, 
on  all  occasions,  involuntarily  as  it  were,  upon  all  those 
truths  of  our  holy  religion  which  inspire  him  with  fear  of 
the  judgments  of  Almighty  God.  He  feels  but  too  keenly 
that  he  cannot  do  away  with  God  and  his  sacred  religion, 
by  denying  his  existence. 

The  days  of  the  infidel  are  counted.  What  a  fearful 
thing  it  is  for  him  to  fall  into  the  hands  of  God  in  the 
hour  of  death !  He  knows  this  truth,  and  because  he 
knows  it,  he  dies  in  the  fury  of  despair,  and,  as  it  were, 


in  the  anticipated  torments  of  the  suffering  that  awaits  him 
in  hell.  Witness  Voltaire,  the  famous  infidel  of  France ! 
He  wished  to  make  his  confession  at  his  last  hour.  But 
the  priest  of  St.  Sulpice  was  not  able  to  go  to  his, bedside, 
because  the  chamber-door  was  shut  upon  him.  So  Voltaire 
died  without  confession.  He  died  in  such  a  terrible 
paroxysm  of  fury  and  rage,  that  the  marshal  of  Richelieu, 
who  was  present  at  his  horrible  agony,  exclaimed:  "Really, 
this  sight  is  sickening ;  it  is  insupportable  !"  M.  Tronchin, 
Voltaire's  physician,  says :  "  Figure  to  yourself  the  rage 
and  fury  of  Orestes,  and  you'll  still  have  but  a  feeble 
image  of  the  fury  of  Voltaire  in  his  last  agony.  It  would 
be  well  if  all  the  infidels  of  Paris  were  present.  Oh  !  the 
fine  spectacle  that  would  have  met  their  eyes !"  Thus  is 
fulfilled  in  infidels  what  God  says  in  holy  Scripture  :  "  I 
will  laugh  at  the  destruction  of  those  who  laughed  at  me 
during  their  life." 

Witness  Tom  Paine  !  A  short  time  before  he  died  he 
sent  for  the  Rev.  Father  Fenwick.  Father  Fenwick 
went,  in  company  of  Father  Kohlman,  to  see  the  infidel 
in  his  wretched  condition.  When  they  arrived  at  Paine's 
house,  at  Greenwich,  his  housekeeper  came  to  the  door 
and  inquired  whether  they  were  the  Catholic  priests : 
"  For,"  said  she,  "  Mr.  Paine  has  been  so  annoyed  of  late 
by  ministers  of  different  other  denominations  calling  up6n 
him,  that  he  has  left  express  orders  with  me  to  admit 
no  one  to-day  but  clergymen  of  the  Catholic  Church." 
Upon  assuring  her  that  they  were  Catholic  clergymen,  she 
opened  the  door,  and  invited  them  to  sit  down  in  the  parlor. 
"Gentlemen,"  said  she,  "I  really  wish  you  may  succeed 
with  Mr.  Paine ;  for  he  is  laboring  under  great  distress  of 
mind  ever  since  he  was  informed  by  his  physicians  that 

CREED.  271 

he  cannot  possibly  live,  and  must  die  shortly.  He  sent 
for  you  to-day,  because  he  was  told  that  if  any  one  could 
do  him  good,  you  might.  He  is  truly  to  be  pitied.  His 
cries,  when  he  is  left  alone,  are  truly  heart-rending.  '  O 
Lord  !  help  me  ! '  he  will  exclaim  during  his  paroxysms  of 
distress.  '  God,  help,  Jesus  Christ,  help  me  ! '  repeating 
the  same  expressions  without  any  the  least  variation,  in 
a  tone  of  voice  that  would  alarm  the  house.  Sometimes 
he  will  say,  t  0  God  !  what  have  I  done  to  suffer  so  much  ?  ' 
Then  shortly  after :  i  If  there  is  a  God,  what  will  become 
of  me  V  Thus  he  will  continue  for  some  time,  when  on 
a  sudden  he  will  scream  as  if  in  terror  and  agony,  and  call 
out  for  me  by  name.  On  one  of  these  occasions,  which 
are  very  frequent,  I  went  to  him  and  inquired  what  he 
wanted.  i  Stay  with  me,'  he  replied,  i  for  God's  sake ; 
for  I  cannot  bear  to  be  left  alone.7  I  then  observed  that 
I  could  not  always  be  with  him,  as  I  had  much  to  attend 
to  in  the  house.  '  Then,'  said  he,  *  send  even  a  child  to 
stay  with  me ;  for  it  is  a  hell  to  be  alone.'  I  never  saw," 
she  concluded,  "  a  more  unhappy,  a  more  forsaken  man. 
It  seems  he  cannot  reconcile  himself  to  die." 

The  fathers  did  all  in  their  power  to  make  Paine  enter 
into  himself,  and  ask  God's  pardon.  But  all  their  endeav 
ors  were  in  vain.  He  ordered  them  out  of  his  room,  in 
the  highest  pitch  of  his  voice,  and  seemed  a  very  maniac 
with  rage  and  madness.  "Let  us  go,"  said  Father 
Fenwick  to  Father  Kohlman.  "  We  have  nothing  more 
to  do  here.  He  seems  to  be  entirely  abandoned  by  God. 
Further  words  are  lost  upon  him.  I  never  before  or  since 
beheld  a  more  hardened  wretch."  ("  Lives  of  the  Catholic 
Bishops  of  America,"  p.  379,  etc.) 

To  the  infidel  and  evil-doer  these  examples  present 


matter  worthy  of  serious  reflection,  while  the  believer 
will  recognize  in  them  the  special  judgment  of  God,  which 
is  too  clearly  indicated  to  be  doubted  by  any  honest  mind. 
Let  the  unbeliever  remember  that  the  hour  wi}l  come 
when  he  shall  open  his  eyes  to  see  the  wisdom  of  those 
who  have  believed  j  when  he  also  shall  see,  to  his  con 
fusion,  his  own  madness  in  refusing  to  believe.  u  Oh  ! 
that  he  would  be  wise,  and  would  understand  that  there 
is  none  that  can  deliver  out  of  the  hand  of  the  Lord ! 7? 
(Deut.  xxxii,  39.) 

18,  Why  are  those  persons  lost  who  have  been  justly 
excommunicated,  and  who  are  unwilling  to  do  what  is 
required  of  them  before  they  are  absolved  ? 

Because  the  sin  of  great  scandal,  for  which  they,  as  dead 
members,  were  expelled  from  the  communion  of  the  Church, 
excludes  them  from  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 

Such  excommunicated  persons  are,  for  instance,  all  mem 
bers  of  secret  societies.  The  aim  of  secret  societies  is 
to  abolish  the  Christian  religion  and  the  Church  of  Christ  j 
nay,  to  banish  the  law  of  God,  and  the  very  idea  of 
his  overruling  providence  j  to  overturn  every  legitimate 
secular  authority  ;  to  destroy  the  present  basis  of  society, 
and  to  construct  a  new  one,  wherein  all  may  be  free  to 
follow  their  passions.  The  members  of  these  societies  have 
been  excommunicated  by  several  popes :  by  Clement  IX, 
Benedict  XIV,  Leo  XII,  and  Pius  IX. 

Our  Lord  gave  to  his  Church  the  power  of  separating 
men  from  the  "onefold,"  and  making  them  *' heathens 
and  publicans.  The  purpose  and  effect  of  excommuni 
cation  are  to  cut  culprits  off  from  the  body  of  Christ  ;  to 
cast  them  out  of  his  Church,  as  unworthy  of  the  Christian 
name,  and  as  deprived  of  rights  which  were  •  acquired 

CREED.  273 

by  baptism.  The  excommunicated,  then,  are  shut  out 
from  those  avenues  of  grace  which  have  been  provided  in 
the  Church ;  they  cannot  receive  the  sacraments  j  the 
holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass  is  not  daily  offered  for  them  j 
and  if  death  surprises  them  while  they  still  obstinately  defy 
the  Church,  the  separation  from  the  Church,  which  they 
have  wilfully  chosen  to  maintain  on  earth,  will  be  main 
tained  also  in  the  other  world — they  will  remain  separated 
forever  from  the  communion  of  the  saints  in  heaven." 
(See  Part  I,  Secret  Societies,  §  15.) 

Why  are  heretics  lost  ?  Heretics,  that  is  to  say,  baptized 
persons  who  choose  such  doctrines  of  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church  as  please  them,  and  reject  the  rest,  are  lost 
for  the  reason  given  by  St.  Paul  the  Apostle,  who  says: 
"A  man  that  is  a  heretic,  after  the  first  and  second 
admonition,  avoid  j  knowing  that  he  who  is  such  an  one 
is  subverted,  and  sinneth,  being  condemned  by  his  own 
judgment."  (Tit.  iii,  10,  11.) 

The  word  of  God,  in  the  first  commandment,  is  :  "I  am 
the  Lord  thy  God."  By  this  commandment  all  men  are 
obliged  to  believe  in  God  as  the  Infinite  Being,  who  is 
essentially  good  and  just,  the  sovereign  Author  and  Lord  of 
all  things,  who  has  an  absolute  authority  over  all, — an 
authority  which  he  can  exercise  either  directly  by  himself, 
or  through  an  angel,  a  prophet,  or  one  or  more  of  his 
reasonable  creatures.  God,  therefore,  has  a  right  to  com 
mand  the  human  understanding  to  admit  certain  truths, 
the  human  will  to  perform  certain  duties,  the  senses  to 
make  certain  sacrifices.  Nothing  can  be  more  reasonable 
than  to  submit  to  such  a  command  of  God.  This  submis 
sion  is  called  faith,  which,  as  St.  Paul  says,  "  bringeth 
into  captivity  every  understanding  to  the  obedience  of 


Christ."  ( 2  Cor.  x,  5.)  As  soon,  then,  as  man  hears  the 
voice  of  his  Maker,  he  is  bound  to  say,  "Amen :  it  is  so." 
I  believe  it,  no  matter  whether  I  understand  it  or  not. 

But  Protestants  have  no  regard  for  God  when  be  says, 
"  I  am  the  Lord  thy  God.  I  have  a  right  to  tell  you 
what  you  must  believe  and  do,  in  order  to  be  saved,  and 
you  are  bound  to  submit  to  my  will,  and  practise  the  relig 
ion  which  I  have  established."  The  Protestant  answers  : 
"Of  course,  I  believe  that  thou  art  the  Lord  of  heaven  and 
earth,  but  I  believe  only  what  I  choose  to  believe  j  "  thus 
defying  the  Almighty  to  prescribe  a  religion  for  him. 
Protestants,  therefore,  live  constantly  in  violation  of  the 
first  commandment. 

They  also  transgress  the  second  commandment  of  God, 
which  says  :  "  Thou  shalt  not  take  the  name  of  the  Lord 
thy  God  in  vain."  By  this  commandment  God  forbids  all 
men  to  blaspheme  him  or  any  of  his  saints,  or  to  ridicule 
religion.  Yet  what  is  more  common  among  Protestants 
than  to  blaspheme  Jesus  Christ  in  his  Mother  and  other 
saints  ;  what  more  common  than  to  ridicule  the  religion  of 
Christ  and  its  holy  practices  ?  Are  not  Protestant  books, 
sermons,  tracts,  and  conversations,  filled  with  abusive  lan 
guage,  invectives,  mockeries  against  Christ,  his  religion 
and  his  saints  ? 

Protestants  also  transgress  the  third  commandment  of 
God,  which  says :  "  Remember  thou  keep  holy  the  Sab 
bath  day."  By  this  commandment  God  commands  all 
men  to  worship  him  in  the  manner  which  he  has  prescribed. 
From  the  beginning  of  the  world,  God  wished  to  be  wor 
shipped  by  the  offering  of  sacrifices  ;  but  Protestants  have 
done  away  with  the  worship  of  the  sacrifice  of  the  Mass, 
which  Christ  commanded  to  be  offered  up  by  his  priests 


and  all  Christians.  They  refuse  to  give  God  the  honor  of 
adoration  ;  that  is,  to  honor  him  as  the  sovereign  Lord  of  all 
creatures,  and  to  acknowledge  their  entire  dependence  on 
him,  by  offering  the  sacrifice  of  the.  body  and  blood  of  his 
divine  Son,  Jesus  Christ,  in  holy  Mass.  Instead  of  thus 
honoring  and  worshipping  him,  they  blaspheme  Christ  by 
calling  this  holy  sacrifice  a  superstitious  ceremony  or 
abominable  idolatry,  whilst  their  own  worship  is  a  false 
worship,  which  is  an  abomination  in  the  sight  of  God. 

Protestants  transgress  the  fourth  commandment,  by  refus 
ing  obedience  to  the  lawful  ecclesiastical  superiors.  They 
transgress  the  fifth  commandment,  by  refusing  to  make  use 
of  the  means  of  grace, — the  sacraments, — to  obtain  God's 
grace,  and  preserve  themselves  in  his  holy  friendship. 
They  transgress  the  sixth  and  the  ninth  commandment, 
which  forbid  adultery,  and  even  the  desire  to  commit  it. 
Jesus  Christ  says  :  "  I  say  to  you,  that  whosoever  shall 
put  away  his  wife,  and  shall  marry  another,  committeth 
adultery  j  and  he  that  shall  marry  her  that  is  put  away, 
committeth  adultery."  (Matt,  xix,  9.)  "  No,"  says  Protes 
tantism  to  a  married  man,  "you  may  put  away  your  wife, 
get  a  divorce,  and  marry  another." 

God  says  to  every  man :  u  Thou  shalt  not  steal." 
li  No,"  said  Luther  to  secular  princes,  "  I  give  you  the 
right  to  appropriate  to  yourselves  the  property  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church."  And  the  princes,  from  that  day 
to  this,  have  been  only  too  happy  to  profit  by  this  pleasing 

Jesus  Christ  says  :  "  Hear  the  Church."  "No,"  says 
Protestantism,  "  do  not  hear  the  Church  j  protest  against 
her  with  all  your  might."  Jesus  Christ  says :  "  If  any 
one  will  not  hear  the  Church;  look  upon  him  as  a  heathen 


and  publican."  "No,"  says  Protestantism,  "if  any  one 
does  not  hear  the  Church,  look  upon  him  as  an  apostle, 
as  an  ambassador  of  God."  Jesus  Christ  says :  "  The 
gates  of  hell  shall  not  prevail  against  my  Church." 
"No,"  says 'Protestantism,  "'tis  false;  the  gates  of  hell 
have  prevailed  against  the  Church  for  a  thousand  years 
and  more."  Jesus  Christ  has  declared  St.  Peter,  and 
every  successor  to  St.  Peter, — the  pope, — to  be  his  Vicar 
on  earth.  "  No,"  says  Protestantism,  "  the  pope  is  Anti 
christ."  Jesus  Christ  says:  "My  yoke  is  sweet,  and 
my  burden  is  light."  (Matt,  xi,  30.)  "  No,"  said  Luther 
and  Calvin,  "  it  is  impossible  to  keep  the  command 
ments."  Jesus  Christ  says  :  "  If  thou  wilt  enter  into 
life,  keep  the  commandments."  (Matt,  xix,  17.)  "No," 
said  Luther  and  Calvin,  "faith  alone,  without  good  works, 
is  sufficient  to  enter  into  life  everlasting."  Jesus  Christ 
says:  "Unless  you  do  penance,  you  shall  all  likewise 
perish."  (Luke  iii,  3.)  "  No,"  says  Protestantism,  "  fast 
ing  and  other  works  of  penance  are  not  necessary,  in 
satisfaction  for  sin."  Jesus  Christ  says :  "  This  is  my 
body."  "  No,"  said  Calvin,  "  this  is  only  the  figure  of 
Christ's  body  j  it  will  become  his  body  as  soon  as  you 
receive  it." 

The  Holy  Ghost  says  in  holy  Scripture  :  "  Man  knoweth 
not  whether  he  be  worthy  of  love  or  hatred."  (Eccl.  ix,  I.) 
"  Who  can  say,  My  heart  is  clean,  I  am  pure  from  sin  ?" 
(Prov.  xx,  9) ;  and,  "  Work  out  your  salvation  with  fear 
and  trembling."  (Phil,  ii,  12.)  "No,"  said  Luther  and 
Calvin,  "  but  whosoever  believes  in  Jesus  Christ  is  in  the 
state  of  grace." 

St.  Paul  says  :  "  If  I  should  have  faith,  so  that  I  could 
remove  mountains,  and  have  not  charity,  I  am  nothing." 


(1  Cor.  xiii,  2.)  "No,"  said  Luther  and  Calvin,  "faith 
alone  is  sufficient  to  save  us." 

St.  Peter  says  that  in  the  Epistles  of  St.  Paul  there  are 
many  things  "  hard  to  be  understood,  which  the  unlearned 
and  unstable  wrest,  as  also  the  other  Scriptures,  to  their 
own  perdition."  (2Epist.  iii,  16.)  "No,"  says  Protestantism, 
"  the  Scriptures  are  very  plain,  and  easy  to  be  understood." 

St.  James  says  :  "Is  any  man  sick  among  you ?  Let 
him  bring  in  the  priests  of  the  Church,  and  let  them  pray 
over  him,  anointing  him  with  oil,  in  the  name  of  the 
Lord."  (Chap,  v,  14.)  "No,"  says  Protestantism,  "this 
is  a  vain  and  useless  ceremony." 

Protestants  being  thus  impious  enough  to  make  liars  of 
Jesus  Christ,  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  of  the  apostles,  need 
we  wonder  if  they  continually  slander  Catholics,  telling  and 
believing  worse  absurdities  about  them  than  the  heathens 
did  ?  What  is  more  absurd  than  to  preach  that  Catholics 
worship  stocks  and  stones  for  gods  j  set  up  pictures  of  Jesus 
Christ,  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary,  and  other  saints,  to  pray 
to  them,  and  put  their  confidence  in  them  ;  that  they  adore 
a  god  of  bread  and  wine  ;  that  their  sins  are  forgiven  by  the 
priest,  without  repentance  and  amendment  of  life  j  that  the 
pope  or  any  other  person  can  give  leave  to  commit  sin,  or 
that  for  a  sum  of  money  the  forgiveness  of  sins  can  be 
obtained  ?  To  these  and  similar  absurdities  and  slanders, 
we  simply  answer  :  "  Cursed  is  he  who  believes  in  such 
absurdities  and  falsehoods,  with  which  Protestants  im 
piously  charge  the  children  of  the  Catholic  Church.  All 
those  grievous  transgressions  are  another  source  of  their 

But  there  are  other  reasons  still,  why  Protestants  cannot 
be  saved.  Jesus  Christ  says  :  "  Except  you  eat  the  flesh 


of  the  Son  of  man,  and  drink  his  blood,  you  shall  not  have 
life  in  you."  (John  vi,  54.)  Now,  Protestants  do  not 
receive  the  body  and  blood  of  our  Lord,  because  their 
ministers  are  not  priests,  and  consequently  have  no  power 
from  Jesus  Christ  to  say  Mass,  in  which,  by  the  words  of 
consecration,  bread  and  wine  are  changed  into  the  body 
and  blood  of  Christ.  It  follows,  then,  clearly  that  they  will 
not  enter  into  life  everlasting,  and  deservedly  so,  because 
they  abolished  the  holy  sacrifice  of  the  Mass  ;  and  by  abolish 
ing  that  great  sacrifice  they  robbed  God  the  Father  of  the 
infinite  honor  which  Jesus  Christ  renders  him  therein,  and 
themselves  of  all  the  blessings  which  Jesus  Christ  bestows 
upon  those  who  assist  at  this  holy  sacrifice  with  faith  and 
devotion :  "  Wherefore  the  sin  of  the  young  men  (the  sons 
of  Heli)  was  exceeding  great  before  the  Lord,  because 
they  withdrew  men  from  the  sacrifice  of  the  Lord." 
(1  Kings  ii,  17.)  Now,  God  the  Father  cannot  admit  into 
heaven  these  robbers  of  his  infinite  honor  ;  because,  if  those 
are  damned  who  steal  the  temporal  goods  of  their  neighbor, 
how  much  more  will  those  be  damned  who  deprive  God 
of  his  infinite  honor,  and  their  fellow-men  of  the  infinite 
spiritual  blessings  of  the  Mass  ! 

Again,  no  man  is  saved  who  dies  in  the  state  of  mortal 
sin,  because  God  cannot  unite  himself  to  a  soul  in  heaven 
who  by  mortal  sin  is  his  enemy.  But  Protestants  are 
enemies  of  God,  committing,  as  they  do,  Other  mortal  sins 
besides  those  already  mentioned ;  for,  if  it  is  a  mortal  sin  for 
a  Roman  Catholic  wilfully  to  doubt  only  one  article  of  his 
faith,  it  is  also,  most  assuredly,  a  mortal  sin  for  Protestants 
wilfully  to  deny  not  only  one  truth,  but  almost  all  the 
truths  revealed  by  Jesus  Christ.  On  account  of  the  sins 
of  apostasy,  blasphemy,  slander,  etc.,  they  remain  enemies 

CREED.  279 

of  God,  as  long  as  they  do  not  repent,  and  receive  absolu 
tion  of  these  sins.  Jesus  Christ  assures  us  that  those  sins 
which  are  not  forgiven  by  the  absolution  of  his  apostles 
or  their  successors,  will  not  be  forgiven :  u  Whose  sins 
you  retain,  they  are  retained.'7  (John  xx,  22,  23.)  But 
Protestants  are  unwilling  to  confess  their  sins  to  a  Cath 
olic  bishop  or  a  priest,  who  alone  has  power  from  Christ 
to  forgive  sins :  "  Whose  sins  you  shall  forgive,  they 
are  forgiven  them."  They  generally  have  an  utter  aver 
sion  to  confession ;  they  die  in  their  sins,  and  are  lost ; 
for  sins,  unrepented  and  unatoned  for,  stand  through  all 

Again.,  no  grown  person  can  enter  the  kingdom  of 
heaven  without  good  works.  •  On  the  great  day  of  judg 
ment  Jesus  Christ  will  say  to  the  wicked :  "  Depart  from 
me,  ye  cursed,  into  everlasting  fire.  For  I  was  hungry, 
and  you  gave  me  not  to  eat ;  I  was  thirsty,  and  you  gave 
me  not  to  drink,"  etc.  (Matt,  xxv,  41,  42.)  It  is  true  that 
many  regular,  naturally  good  Protestants  practise  good 
works,  make  long  prayers,  fast,  give  alms,  and  perform 
other  works  of  natural  virtue,  all  of  which  are,  indeed, 
laudable  actions.  But  all  these  works  are  destitute  of 
one  essential  thing,  viz.,  docility  to  faith,  without  which 
there  is  neither  merit  nor  recompense.  For  merely 
natural  virtues  there  are  natural  rewards.  But  works,  to 
be  meritorious  of  heaven,  must  be  performed  in  the  state  of 
grace  ;  they  must  proceed  from,  and  be  vivified  by,  divine 
faith,  to  deserve  an  eternal  reward  ;  for  then  it  is  that  they 
proceed,  as  it  were,  from  God  himself,  and  from  his  divine 
Spirit,  who  lives  in  us,  and  urges  us  on  to  the  performance 
of  good  works. 

Hence,  as  faith  without  works  is  dead,  so  also  works 


without  faith  are  dead,  and  cannot  save  the  doer  from 
destruction.  Splendid,  but  barren  works  !  apparently  de 
licious  fruit,  but  rotten  within !  In  vain,  then,  shall  they 
glory  in  these  works.  The  Gospel  will  always  tell  them  that 
he  u  who  does  not  believe,  is  already  judged."  (John  iii,  18.) 
The  apostle  will  ever  declare  to  them  that  ii  without  faith  it 
is  impossible  to  please  God."  (Heb.  xi,  6.)  Jesus  Christ 
himself  will  ever  command  us  to  look  upon  u  him  as  the 
heathen  and  the  publican,  who  will  not  hear  the  Church  " 
(Matt,  xviii,  17),  though  otherwise  he  should  be  as  severe 
in  his  life  as  an  anchoret,  as  enlightened  in  his  under 
standing  as  an  angel.  "  In  the  Catholic  Church,"  says 
St.  Augustine,  "  there  are  both  good  and  bad.  But  they 
who  are  separated  from  her,  as  long  as  they  remain  in 
their  opinion  against  her,  cannot  be  good  ;  for,  although 
a  kind  of  laudable  conversation  seems  to  show  forth  some 
of  them  as  good,  the  separation  itself  makes  them  bad,  the 
Lord  saying :  ( He  who  is  not  with  me  is  against  me  ;  and 
he  who  gathereth  not  with  me,  scattereth.7 "  (Ep.  ccviii, 
n.  6,  col.  1177.)  What,  then,  will  be  the  astonishment, 
sorrow,  and  despair  of  those  who,  void  of  faith,  and  sepa 
rated  from  the  Church,  will  one  day  present  themselves 
before  God,  and,  imagining  to  have  heaped  up  treasures  of 
merits,  will  appear  in  his  sight  with  their  hands  empty  ? 

In  the  history  of  the  foundation  of  the  Society  of  Jesus, 
in  the  Kingdom  of  Naples,  is  related  the  following  story 
of  a  noble  youth  of  Scotland,  named  William  Ephinstone  : 
He  was  a  relative  of  the  Scottish  king.  Born  a  heretic, 
he  followed  the  false  sect  to  which  he  belonged ;  but  en 
lightened  by  divine  grace,  which  showed  him  his  errors, 
he  went  to  France,  where,  with  the  assistance  of  a  good 
Jesuit  Father,  'who  was  also  a  Scotchman,  he  at  length 


saw  the  truth,  abjured  heresy,  and  became  a   Catholic. 

He  went  afterward  to  Rome,  joined  the  Society  of  Jesus, 

in  which  he  died  a  happy  death.   When  at  Rome,  a  friend 

of  his  found  him  one  day  very  much  afflicted,  and  weep- 

-ing.  He  asked  him  the  cause,  and  the  young  man  answered 

'  that  in  the  night  his  mother  had  appeared  to  him,  and  said  : 

"My  son,  it  is  well  for  thee  that  thou  hast  entered  the  true 

Church;  I  am  already   lost,  because   I   died  in  heresy.7' 

(St.  Liguori,  "  Glories  of  Mary.'7) 

We  read,  in  the  Life  of  St.  Rose  of  Viterbo,  that  she 
was  inflamed  with  great  zeal  for  the  salvation  of  souls. 
She  felt  a  most  tender  compassion  for  those  who  were 
living  in  heresy.  In  order  to  convince  a  certain  lady,  who 
was  a  heretic,  that  she  could  not  be  saved  in  her  sect,  and 
that  it  was  necessary  for  salvation  to  die  a  true  member 
of  the  Catholic  Church,  she  made  a  large  fire,  threw  her 
self  into  it,  and  remained  in  it  for  three  hours,  without 
being  hurt.  This  lady,  together  with  many  others,  on 
witnessing  the  miracle,  abjured  their  heresy,  and  became 

When  the  Emperor  Valens  ordered  that  St.  Basil  the 
Great  should  go  into  banishment,  God,  in  the  high  court 
of  heaven,  passed,  at  the  same  time,  sentence  against  the 
emperor's  only  son,  named  Valentinian  Galatus,  a  child 
then  about  six  years  old.  That  very  night  the  royal 
infant  was  seized  with  a  violent  fever,  from  which  the 
physicians  were  unable  to  give  him  the  least  relief;  and 
the  Empress  Dominica  told  the  emperor  that  this  calamity 
was  a  just  punishment  of  heaven  for  his  banishing  the 
bishop,  on  which  account  she  had  been  disquieted  by 
terrible  dreams.  Thereupon  Valens  sent  for  the  saint, 
who  was  about  to  go  into*  exile.  No  sooner  had  the  holy 


bishop  entered  the  palace,  than  the  fever  of  the  child 
began  to  abate.  St.  Basil  assured  the  parents  of  the 
absolute  recovery  of  their  son,  on  condition  that  they 
would  order  him  to  be  instructed  in  the  Catholic  faith. 
The  emperor  accepted  the  condition,  St.  Basil  prayed, 
and  the  young  prince  was  cured.  But  Valens,  unfaithful 
to  his  promise,  afterward  allowed  an  Arian  bishop  to  bap 
tize  the  child.  The  young  prince  immediately  relapsed 
and  died.  (Butler's  "  Lives  of  the  Saints,"  June  14th.) 
By  this  miraculous  cure  of  the  child,  God  made  manifest 
the  truth  of  our  religion ;  and  by  the  sudden  death  of  the 
child,  which  followed  upon  the  heretical  baptism,  God 
showed  in  what  abomination  he  holds  those  who  profess 

But  is  it  not  a  very  uncharitable  doctrine  to  say  that 
out  of  the  Church  there  is  no  salvation  ?  If  we  desire 
that  all  those  who  are  not  members  of  the  Catholic  Church 
should  cease  to  deceive  themselves  as  to  the  true  char 
acter  of  their  belief,  and  propose  to  them  considerations 
which  may  contribute  to  that  result,  it  is  certainly  not 
from  enmity  to  their  persons,  nor  indifference  to  their 
welfare.  As  long  as  they  remain  victims  of  a  delusion 
as  gross  as  that  which  makes  the  Jew  still  cling  to  his 
abolished  synagogue,  and  which  only  a  miracle  of  grace 
can  dispel,  they  will  probably  resent  the  counsels  of  their 
truest  friends :  but  why  do  they  take  us  for  enemies  ? 
"The  Christian,"  as  Tertullian  said,  "is  the  enemy  of  no 
one,"  not  even  of  his  persecutors.  He  hates  heresy  because 
God  hates  it,  but  he  has  only  compassion  for  those  who 
are  caught  in  its  snare.  Whether  he  exhorts  or  reproves 
them,  he  displays  not  malice,  but  charity.  He  knows  that 
rjthey  are,  of  all  men,  the  most  helpless  j  and  when  his  voice 

CREED.  283 

of  warning  is  most  vehement,  he  is  only  doing  what  the 
Church  has  done  from  the  beginning.  His  voice  is  but 
the  echo  of  hers.  We  are  told  that,  before  the  Council 
of  Nice,  she  had  already  condemned  thirty-eight  different 
heresies  j  and  in  every  case  she  pronounced  anathema 
upon  those  who  held  them.  And  she  was  as  truly  the 
mouthpiece  of  God  in  her  judicial  as  in  her  teaching  office. 

The  Church  is,  indeed,  uncompromising  in  matters  of 
truth.  Truth  is  the  honor  of  the  Church.  The  Church 
is  the  most  honorable  of  all  societies.  She  is  the  highest 
standard  of  honor,  because  she  judges  all  things  in  the 
light  of  God,  who  is  the  source  of  all  honor.  A  man  who 
has  no  love  for  the  truth,  a  man  who  tells  a  wilful  lie  or 
takes  a  false  oath,  is  considered  dishonored.  No  one 
cares  for  him  ;  and  it  would  be  unreasonable  to  accuse  one 
of  intolerance  or  bigotry  because  he  refuses  to  associate 
with  a  man  who  has  no  love  for  the  truth.  It  would  be 
just  as  unreasonable  to  accuse  the  Catholic  Church  of 
intolerance,  or  bigotry,  or  want  of  charity,  because  she 
excludes  from  her  society,  and  pronounces  anathema 
upon,  those  who  have  no  regard  for  the  truth,  and  remain 
wilfully  out  of  her  communion. 

If  the  Church  believed  that  men  could  be  saved  in  any 
religion  whatever,  or  without  any  at  all,  it  would  be  unchari 
table  in  her  to  announce  to  the  world  that  out  of  her  there 
is  no  salvation.  But,  as  she  knows  and  maintains  that  there 
is  but  one  faith,  as  there  is  but  one  God  and  Lord  of  all, 
and  that  she  is  in  possession  of  that  one  faith,  and  that 
without  that  faith  it  is  impossible  to  please  God  and  be 
saved,  it  would  be  very  uncharitable  in  her,  and  in  all  her 
children,  to  hide  Christ's  doctrine  from  the  world.  To 
warn  our  neighbor  when  he  is  in  imminent  danger  of  falling 


into  a  deep  abyss,  is  considered  an  act  of  great  charity. 
It  is  a  greater  act  of  charity  to  warn  non-Catholics  of  the 
certain  danger  in  which  they  are  of  falling  into  the  abyss 
of  hell,  since  Jesus  Christ,  and  the  apostles  themselves, 
and  all  their  successors,  have  always  most  emphatically 
asserted  that  out  of  the  Church  there  is  no  salvation. 

Here  it  may  be  asked :  Are  all  those  who  are  out  of 
the  Church  equally  guilty  in  the  sight  of  God?  We 
answer :  No  j  some  are  more  guilty  than  others.  It  cannot 
be  considered  the  personal  fault,  however  great  and 
terrible  the  misfortune,  of  any  individual  of  the  children 
of  Adam  that  our  first  parents  sinned.  So  it  is  not  the 
fault  of  those  who  were  born  and  educated  in  any  of  the 
errors  or  negations  of  Protestantism,  in  its  hundred  various 
forms.  Involuntary  error  is  a  misfortune  to  be  pitied,  a 
calamity  to  be  deplored.'  Only  when  entered  into,  or 
persisted  in,  against  light  and  knowledge,  can  it  be 
considered  a  sin,  or  other  than  a  sin  of  ignorance. 
There  are  persons  who  sometimes  commit  actions  which, 
in  themselves,  are  very  wrong,  but  are  not  punishable  in 
the  sight  of  God,  because  they  do  not  proceed  from 
wilful  malice,  as  those  who  commit  them  are  not  aware  in 
the  least  that  by  such  actions  God  is  offended.  So  there 
maybe  persons  who  live  in  infidelity  or  heresy  without  being 
in  the  least  aware  of  it.  Now  such  inculpable  ignorance 
will,  of  course,  not  save  them  j  but,  if  they  fear  God,  and 
live  up  to  their  conscience,  God,  in  his  infinite  mercy, 
will  furnish  them  with  the  necessary  means  of  salvation, 
even  so  as  to  send,  if  needed,  an  angel  to  instruct  them 
in  the  Catholic  faith,  rather  than  let  them  perish  through 
inculpable  ignorance. 

But  there  are  others  who  are  guilty  in  the  sight  of 


God.  They  are  those  who  know  the  Catholic  Church  to  be 
the  only  true  Church,  but  do  not  embrace  her  faith,  as 
also  those  who  could  know  her,  if  they  would  candidly 
search,  but  who,  through  indifference,  and  other  culpable 
motives,  neglect  to  do  so. 

19.  Would  it  be  right  to  say  that  one  who  was  not 
received  into  the  Church  before  his  death  is  damned  ? 

No;  because,  in  his  last  hour,  such  a  one  may  receive 
the  grace  to  die  united  to  the  Catholic  Church. 

It  is  not  our  business  to  say  whether  this  or  that  one 
who  was  not  received  into  the  Church  before  his  death  is 
damned.  What  we  condemn  is  the  Protestant  and  the  hea 
then  system  of  religion,  because  they  are  utterly  false  j  but 
we  do  not  condemn  any  person — God  alone  is  the  judge  of 
all.  It  is  quite  certain,  however,  that,  if  any  of  those  who 
are  not  received  into  the  Church  before  their  death,  enter 
heaven, — a  lot  which  we  earnestly  desire  and  beg  God  to 
grant  them, — they  can  only  do  so  after  undergoing  a 
radical  and  fundamental  change  before  death  launches 
them  into  eternity.  This  is  quite  certain,  for  the  reason, 
among  others,  that  they  are  not  one  ;  and  nothing  is  more 
indisputably  certain  than  this,  that  there  can  be  no 
division  in  heaven :  a  God  is  not  the  God  of  dissension," 
says  St.  Paul,  "  but  of  peace."  He  has  never  suffered 
the  least  interruption  of  union,  even  in  the  Church  Militant 
no  earth  ;  most  assuredly  he  will  not  tolerate  it  in  the 
Church  Triumphant.  God  most  certainly  will  remain 
what  he  is.  Non-Catholics,  therefore,  in  order  to  enter 
heaven,  must  cease  to  be  what  they  are,  and  become 
something  which  now  they  are  not. 

God,  in  his  infinite  mercy,  may  enlighten,  at  the  hour  of 
death,  one  who  is  not  yet  a  Catholic,  so  that  he  may  know 


and  believe  the  necessary  truths  of  salvation,  be  truly 
sorry  for  his  sins,  and  die  in  such  disposition  of  soul  as  is 
necessary  to  be  saved.  Such  a  one,  by  an  extraordinary 
grace  of  God,  ceases  to  be  what  he  was ;  he  dies  -united, 
at  least,  to  the  soul  of  the  Church,  as  theologians  call  it. 

With  regard  to  Catholics,  the  case  is  quite  different. 
No  change  need  come  upon  them,  except  that  which  is 
implied  in  passing  from  the  state  of  grace  to  the  state 
of  glory. 

They  will  be  one  there,  as  they  have  been  one  here. 
For  them  the  miracle  of  supernatural  unity  is  already 
worked.  That  mark  of  God's  hand  is  already  upon  them. 
That  sign  of  God's  election  is  already  graven  upon  their 
foreheads.  Faith,  indeed,  will  be  replaced  by  sight,  but 
this  will  be  no  real  change,  because  what  they  see  in  the 
next  world  will  be  what  they  have  believed  in  this.  The 
same  sacramental  King  (to  borrow  an  expression  of 
Father  Faber),  whom  here  they  have  worshipped  upon  the 
altar,  will  there  be  their  everlasting  portion.  The  same 
gracious  Madonna  who  has  so  often  consoled  them  in  the 
trials  of  this  life,  will  introduce  her  own  children  to  the 
glories  of  the  next.  They  will  not,  in  that  hour,  have  to 
"  buy  oil "  for  their  lamps,  for  they  are  already  kindled 
at  the  lamp  of  the  sanctuary.  No  wedding-robe  will  have 
to  be  provided  for  them,  for  they  received  it  long  ago  at 
the  baptismal  font,  and  have  washed  away  its  stains  in 
the  tribunal  of  penance.  The  faces  of  the  saints  and 
angels  will  not  be  strange  to  them,  for  have  they  not 
been  familiar  with  them  from  infancy  as  friends,  com 
panions,  and  benefactors  ?  And  being  thus,  even  in  this 
world,  of  the  household  of  faith,  and  the  family  of  God, 
not  only  no  shadow  of  change  need  pass  upon  them,  but 


to  vary  in  one  iota  from  what  they  now  believe  and  prac 
tise,  would  simply  cut  them  off  from  the  communion  of 
saints,  and  be  the  most  overwhelming  disaster  which 
could  befall  them. 

We  have  seen  that  there  is  no  salvation  possible  out  of 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  It  is  therefore  very  impious 
for  one  to  think  and  to  say  that  "  every  religion  is  good." 
To  say  every  religion  is  good,  is  as  much  as  to  ><*ay  :  The 
dg'vil  is  as  good  as  God.  Hell  is  as  good  as  heaven. 
Falsehood  is  as  good  as  truth.  Sin  is  as  good  as  virtue. 
It  is  impious  to  say,  "I  respect  every  religion.'7  This  is 
as  much  as  to  say  :  I  respect  the  devil  as  much  as  God, 
vice  as  much  as  virtue,  falsehood  as  much  as  truth,  dis 
honesty  as  much  as  honesty,  hell  as  much  as  heaven.  It 
is  impious  to  say,  "  It  matters  very  little  what  a  man 
believes,  provided  he  be  an  honest  man.  Let  such  a  one 
be  asked  whether  or  not  he  believes  that  his  honesty  and 
justice  are  as  great  as  the  honesty  and  justice  of  the  Scribes 
and  Pharisees.  These  were  constant  in  prayer,  they  paid 
tithes  according  to  the  law,  gave  great  alms,  fasted  twice 
in  every  week,  and  compassed  sea  and  land  to  make  a 
convert,  and  bring  him  to  the  knowledge  of  the  true  God. 
Now,  what  did  Jesus  Christ  say  of  this  justice  of  the 
Pharisees?  u  Unless,"  he  says,  a  your  justice  shall  exceed 
that  of  the  Scribes  and  Pharisees,  you  shall  not  enter  into 
the  kingdom  of  heaven."  (Matt,  v,  20.)  The  righteousness 
of  the  Pharisees,  then,  must  have  been  very  defective  in  the 
sight  of  God.  It  was,  indeed,  nothing  but  outward  show 
and  ostentation.  They  did  good  only  to  be  praised  and 
admired  by  men  j  but,  within,  their  souls  were  full  of  im 
purity  and  malice.  They  were  lewd  hypocrites,  who 
concealed  great  vices  under  the  beautiful  appearance  of 


love  for  God,  charity  to  the  poor,  and  severity  to  them 
selves.  Their  devotion  consisted  in  exterior  acts,  and 
they  despised  all  who  did  not  live  as  they  did ;  they  were 
strict  in  the  religious  observances  of  human  traditions,  but 
scrupled  not  to  violate  the  commandments  of  God.  No 
wonder,  then,  that  this  Pharisaic  honesty  and  justice  were 
condemned  by  our  Lord.  To  those,  therefore,  who  say, 
"It  matters  little  what  a  man  believes,  provided  he  be 
honest,"  we  answer  :  "  Your  outward  honesty,  like  that  of 
the  Pharisees,  may  be  sufficient  to  keep  you  out  of  prison, 
but  not  out  of  hell.  It  should  be  remembered  that  there 
is  a  dishonesty  to  God,  to  one's  own  soul  and  conscience, 
as  well  as  to  one's  neighbor/7 

You  say,  it  is  enough  to  be  an  honest  man.  What  do 
you  mean  by  an  honest  man  ?  The  term,  honest  man,  is 
rather  a  little  too  general.  Go,  for  instance,  to  that 
young  man  whose  shameful  secret  sins  are  written  on  his 
hollow  cheeks,  in  his  dull,  lack-lustre  eye  :  ask  him  if  one 
can  be  an  honest  man  who  gratifies  all  his  brutal,  shameful 
passions.  What  will  be  his  answer  ?  u  WThy,"  he  will 
say,  "  these  natural  follies  and  weaknesses  do  not  hinder 
a  man  from  being  honest.  To  tell  the  truth,  for  instance, 
I  am  somewhat  inclined  that  way  myself,  and  yet  I  would 
like  to  see  the  man  that  would  doubt  my  honesty." 

Go  to  that  covetous  shopkeeper,  who  sells  his  goods  as 
if  they  were  of  the  finest  quality  j  go  to  that  tradesman, 
that  mason,  that  bricklayer,  or  carpenter,  who  does  not 
work  even  half  as  diligently  when  he  is  paid  by  the  day 
as  when  he  is  paid  by  the  job ;  go  to  these  men  that  have 
grown  rich  by  fraudulent  speculation,  by  cheating  the 
public  or  government ;  go  to  the  employers  that  cheat  the 
servant  and  the  poor  laborer :  ask  them  if  what  they  do, 


prevents  them  from  being  honest  people,  and  they  will 
answer  you  coldly  that  they  are  merely  tricks  of  trade, 
shrewdness  in  business ;  that  they  do  not  by  any  means 
hinder  one  from  being  an  honest  man. 

Go,  ask  that  habitual  drunkard,  ask  that  man  who  has 
grown  rich  by  selling  liquor  to  drunkards  :  ask  them 
whether  these  sins  do  not  hinder  them  from  being  honest, 
and  they  will  tell  you,  "By  no  means.  They  are  honest 
men,  very  honest  men." 

Go,  ask  that  man  or  that  woman  who  sins  against  the 
most  sacred  laws  of  nature  5  go,  ask  that  doctor  who  mur 
ders  the  poor  helpless  babe  before  it  can  see  the  blessed 
light  of  day :  ask  them  if  those  who  are  guilty  of  such 
foul  deeds  are  honest  gentlemen,  and  they  will  tell  you, 
with  the  utmost  assurance,  that  such  trifles  do  not  hinder 
one  from  being  a  gentleman — from  being  a  respectable 
lady  ! 

True  faith  requires  obedience,  humility,  and  childlike 
simplicity  j  it  excludes  pride,  self-will,  clinging  to  our  own 
ideas,  and  that  unwillingness  to  obey  which  hurled  the  angels 
from  heaven,  and  cast  our  first  parents  out  of  paradise. 
Faith  is  a  duty  which  God  requires  of  us,  a,nd  unless  we  fulfil 
this  duty  sincerely,  we  can  never  enter  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 
One  may  say  :  "  To  submit  to  the  yoke  of  faith  is  to  submit 
to  a  spiritual  and  moral  tyranny  ;  it  is  to  lose  one's  liberty." 
There  is  liberty,  and  there  is  license.  To  be  the  slave  of 
vile  passions,  and  seek  to  satisfy  them  always,  and  at  any 
cost,  is  not  true  liberty.  Surely  God  is  free.  But  God  can 
not  sin.  It  is,  therefore,  no  mark  of  liberty  to  be  under 
the  power  of  sin  ;  on  the  contrary,  it  is  the  very  brand  of 
slavery.  The  power  of  sin  implies  the  possibility  of 
becoming  a  slave  of  sin  and  the  devil.  Those,  then,  who 


are  greatly  under  the  power  of  sin,  and  so  go  to  hell,  cannot 
truly  be  called  free  men.  They  are  blinded  and  brutalized 
by  satisfying  the  promptings  of  their  brute  nature,  and 
thus  renounce  their  glorious  freedom,  to  sell  it  for  a  bestial 
gratification.  He  only  is  truly  free  who  wills  and  does 
what  God  wishes  him  to  do  for  his  everlasting  happiness. 
Now,  as  we  have  seen,  God  wishes  that  all  should  be  saved 
in  the  Koman  Catholic  Church.  Those,  therefore,  who 
believe  and  do  what  the  Church  teaches^  do  not  lose 
their  liberty  5  on  the  contrary,  they  enjoy  true  liberty, 
and  make  the  proper  use  of  it.  Hence,  the  greater  oar 
power  of  will  is,  and  the  less  difficulty  we  experience  in 
following  the  teaching  of  the  Church,  the  greater  is  our 
liberty.  Accordingly,  Catholics,  who  live  up  to  the  teach 
ing  of  the  Church,  enjoy  greater  liberty,  and  peace,  and 
happiness,  than  Protestants  and  unbelievers,  because  they 
are  the  children  of  the  light  of  truth,  that  leads  them  to 
heaven ;  whilst  those  who  live  out  of  the  Church  are  the 
children  of  the  darkness  of  error,  which  leads  them, 
finally,  into  the  abyss  of  hell. 

If  no  one,  then,  can  be  saved  except  in  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church,  all  those  who  are  out  of  it  are  bound  to 
become  members  of  the  Church.  This  is  what  common- 
sense  tells  every  non- Catholic.  In  worldly  affairs,  Protes 
tants  never  presume  to  act  without  good  advice.  They 
never  compromise  their  pecuniary  interests  or  their  lives, 
by  becoming  their  own  private  interpreters  and  practition 
ers  of  law  or  medicine.  Both  the  legal  and  the  medical 
books  are  before  them,  written  by  modern  authors,  in  clear 
and  explicit  language,  but  they  have  too  much  practical 
common-sense  to  attempt  their  interpretation.  They 
prefer  always  to  employ  expert  lawyers  and  physicians, 


and  accept  their  interpretations,  and  act  according  to  their 
advice.  Now,  every  non-Catholic  believes  that  every 
practical  member  of  the  Catholic  Church  will  be  saved. 
Hence,  when  there  is  question  about  eternal  salvation  and 
eternal  damnation,  a  sensible  man  will  take  the  surest 
way  to  heaven.  It  was  this  that  decided  Henry  IV  of 
France  to  abjure  his  errors.  A  historian  relates  that 
this  king,  having  called  before  him  a  conference  of  the 
doctors  of  either  Church,  and  seeing  that  the  Protestant 
ministers  agreed,  with  one  accord,  that  salvation  was 
attainable  in  the  Catholic  religion,  immediately  addressed 
a  Protestant  minister  in  the  following  manner:  "Now, 
sir,  is  it  true  that  people  can  be  saved  in  the  Catholic 
religion  ?  "  u  Most  assuredly  it  is,  sire,  provided  they 
live  up  to  it."  "If  that  be  so/7  said  the  monarch, 
u  prudence  demands  that  I  should  be  of  the  Catholic 
religion,  not  of  yours,  seeing  that  in  the  Catholic  Church 
I  may  be  saved,  as  even  you  admit  ;  whereas,  if  I  remain 
in  yours,  Catholics  maintain  that  I  cannot  be  saved. 
Both  prudence  and  good  sense  tell  me  that  I  should 
follow  the  surest  way,  and  so  I  propose  doing."  Some 
days  after,  the  king  made  his  abjuration  at  St.  Denis. 
(Guillois,  ii,  67.) 

Christ  assures  us  that  the  way  to  everlasting  life  is 
narrow,  and  trodden  by  few.  The  Catholic  religion  is 
that  narrow  road  to  heaven.  Protestantism,  on  the  con 
trary,  is  that  broad  way  to  perdition  trodden  by  so  many. 
He  who  is  content  to  follow  the  crowd,  condemns  him 
self  by  taking  the  broad  way.  A  man  says :  "I  would 
like  to  believe,  but  I  cannot."  You  say  you  "  cannot 
believe."  But  what  have  you  done,  what  means  have  you 
employed,  in  order  to  acquire  the  gift  of  faith  ?  If  you 


have  neglected  the  means,  you  show  clearly  that  you  do 
not  desire  the  end. 

God  bestowed  great  praise  upon  his  servant  Job.  Ho 
said  of  him  that  "he  was  a  simple  and  upright  man, 
fearing  God  and  avoiding  evil."  (Job.  i,  8.)  There  is 
nothing  that  renders  a  soul  more  acceptable  to  God  than 
simplicity  and  sincerity  of  heart  in  seeking  him.  There  is? 
on  the  other  hand,  nothing  more  detestable  to  him  than  a 
double-minded  man,  who  does  not  walk  sincerely  with  his 
God :  "  Woe  to  them  that  are  of  a  double  heart,  .  .  .  and  to 
the  sinner  that  goeth  on  the  earth  two  ways."  (Ecclus.  ii, 
14.)  Such  a  man  should  not  expect  that  the  Lord  will 
enlighten  and  direct  him.  Our  Saviour  assures  us  that 
his  heavenly  Father  makes  himself  known  to  the  little 
ones,  that  is,  to  those  who  have  recourse  to  him  with  a 
simple  and  sincere  heart. 

This  sincerity  and  uprightness  of  heart  with  God  are 
especially  necessary  for  him  who  is  in  search  of  the  true 
.religion.  We  see  around  us  numberless  jarring  sects,  con 
tradicting  one  another  j  we  see  the  one  condemning  what 
the  other  approves,  and  approving  what  others  condemn ; 
we  see  some  embracing  certain  divine  truths,  and  others 
rejecting  those  truths  with  horror,  as  the  doctrine  of  devils. 
Now  common-sense  tells  every  one  that  both  parties  can 
not  be  right ;  that  the  true  religion  cannot  be  on  either 
side.  Among  such  confusion  of  opinions,  the  mind  is 
naturally  at  a  loss  how  to  discover  that  one  true  Church 
in  whose  bosom  the  truth  is  to  be  found. 

In  the  search  after  truth,  one  must  find  immense  dif 
ficulties.  There  is  prejudice.  It  is  the  effect  of  early 
training,  of  life-long  teaching,  of  reading,  and  of  living  in 
the  world.  It  is  the  result  of  almost  imperceptible  im- 


prfessions,  and  yet  its  force,  as  an  obstacle,  is  such  as  in 
many  cases  to  defy  human  efforts  to  remove  it.  It  is  like 
the  snow  which  begins  to  fall,  as  the  darkness  sets  in,  on 
roof  and  road,  in  little  flakes  that  come  down  silently  all 
the  night,  and  in  the  morning  the  branches  bend,  and  the 
doors  are  blocked,  and  the  traffic  on  road  and  rail  is 
brought  to  a  standstill. 

There,  again,  is  the  favor  of  friends,  the  fear  of  what  the 
world  will  say,  worldly  interest,  and  the  like.  All  these 
will  be  set  to  work  by  the  enemy  of  souls  to  blind  the 
understanding,  that  it  may  not  see  the  truth  and  to  avert 
the  will  from  embracing  it.  Nothing  but  a  particular 
grace  from  heaven  can  enlighten  the  mind  to  perceive  the 
light  of  truth  through  such  clouds  of  darkness,  and  to 
strengthen  the  will  with  courage  to  embrace  it,  in  spite  of 
all  these  difficulties.  It  is,  without  doubt,  the  will  of  God, 
that  u  all  men  should  be  saved,  and  come  to  the  knowledge 
of  the  truth  "  (1  Tim.  ii,  4) ;  but  it  is  also  the  will  of  God 
that,  in  order  to  come  to  this  knowledge,  men  must  seek  it 
with  a  sincere  and  upright  heart,  and  this  sincerity  of  heart 
must  show  itself  in  their  earnest  desire  to  know  the  truth : 
11  Blessed  are  they  that  hunger  and  thirst  after  justice,  for 
they  shall  be  filled."  Hence  they  must  labor  diligently  to 
find  out  the  truth,  using  every  means  in  their  power  for 
that  purpose.  Negligence  of  inquiry,  and  the  evidences  of 
our  faith,  are  great,  and  therefore  the  ignorance  of  many 
must  needs  be  highly  sinful.  Man's  understanding  was 
given  to  him,  to  enable  him  to  embrace  holy  and  salutary 
truths.  Negligence  in  this  is  worthy  of  damnation  j  and 
as  everything  tends  easily  to  its  natural  end,  so  our 
natural,  intellectual  virtue  is  nearer  finding  God  than 
it  is  finding  his  contrary,  for  God  is  always  ready  to  aid 


those  who  seek  him  with  a  good  and  honest  heart :  and 
thus  we  find  that  to  Cornelius,  a  Pagan,  yet  living  relig 
iously,  and  fearing  God,  St.  Peter  was  sent  to  convert  him 
and  all  his  family.  God,  says  St.  Thomas  Aquinas,  will 
send  an  angel  to  a  man  ignorant  of  the  Christian  law,  but 
living  up  to  his  conscience,  to  instruct  him  in  the  Christian 
religion,  rather  then  let  him  perish  through  inculpable 

There  are  laws  to  regulate  man's  will  and  affections,  and 
so  there  are  also  laws  to  fix  limits  to  his  understanding — 
to  determine  what  he  should  believe,  and  what  he  should 
not  believe  ;  and  therefore  ignorance  is  damnable,  for  men 
ought  to  believe  what  they  do  not ;  and  they  ought  curi 
ously  to  inquire  what  are  these  laws.  Whereas,  the 
multitude  run,  with  all  their  strength,  to  sin  and  death  as 
their  end,  and  it  is  not  strange  that  they  should  find  it. 

The  first  and  great  cause  of  all  these  errors  is  negligence 
of  inquiry  ;  and  the  second  is,  aversion  to  believe  what; 
ought  to  be  believed  of  God,  and  a  hatred  for  the  things 
that  would  enlighten  and  convert  the  soul.  If  men  will 
not  heed  either  holy  words  or  miracles,  it  is  not  strange 
that  they  remain  in  error.  They  must  study  religion, 
with  a  sincere  desire  to  find  out  the  truth.  If  they  wish 
to  find  out  the  truth,  they  must  not  appeal  to  the  enemies 
of  truth.  They  must  consult  those  who  are  well  instructed 
in  their  religion,  and  who  practise  it.  They  must  consult 
the  priest.  He  will  explain  to  them  the  true  doctrine  of 
the  Catholic  Church.  Moreover,  sincerity  of  heart  must 
show  itself  in  a  firm  resolution  to  embrace  the  truth 
whenever  it  shall  be  found,  and  whatever  it  may  cost  the 
seeker.  He  must  prefer  it  before  every  worldly  consider 
ation,  and  be  ready  to  forfeit  everything  in  this  life :  the 


affections  of  his  friends,  a  comfortable  home,  temporal 
goods,  and  prospects  in  business,  rather  than  deprive  his 
soul  of  so  great  a  treasure. 

The  New  York  Freeman's  Journal,  Sept.  2d,  1854, 
contains  the  following  notice  on  the  late  General  Thomas 
F.  Carpenter.  The  words  of  this  notice  are  written  by 
ex-Governor  Laurence.  The  general,  when  about  to 
become  a  Catholic,  made  known  his  intention  to  a  friend. 
The  friend,  of  course,  was  surprised.  He  instanced  the 
fearful  results  consequent  upon  a  proceeding  so  unpopu 
lar,  the  loss  of  professional  practice,  the  alienation  of 
friends,  the  scoffs  of  the  crowd,  etc.  "All  such  blessings," 
replied  General  Carpenter,  "  I  can  dispense  with,  all 
such  insults  I  can  despise,  but  I  cannot  afford  to  lose  my 
immortal  soul."  The  general  spoke  thus,  because  he 
knew,  and  firmly  believed,  what  Jesus  Christ  has  solemnly 
declared,  to  wit :  "  He  who  loveth  father  or  mother  more 
than  me,  is  not  worthy  of  me  j  and  he  that  loveth  son  or 
daughter  more  than  me,  is  not  worthy  of  me  "  (Matt,  x, 
37) ;  and  as  to  the  loss  of  temporal  gain,  he  has  answered  : 
"  What  will  it  profit  a  man  if  he  gain  the  whole  world, 
and  suffer  the  loss  of  his  soul?  "  (Mark  viii;  36.) 

But  would  it  not  be  enough  for  such  a  one  to  be  a  Cath 
olic  in  heart  only,  without  professing  his  religion  publicly  ? 
No  j  for  Jesus  Christ  has  solemnly  declared  that  "  he 
who  shall  be  ashamed  of  me  and  of  my  words,  of  him  the 
Son  of  man  shall  be  ashamed  when  he  shall  come  in  his 
majesty,  and  that  of  his  Father,  and  of  the  holy  angels." 
(Luke  ix,  26.) 

But  might  not  such  a  one  safely  put  off  being  received 
into  the  Church  till  the  hour  of  death  ? 

This  would  be  to  abuse  the  mercy  of  God,  and,  in  pun- 


ishment  for  this  sin,  to  lose  the  light  and  grace  ot  faith, 
and  die  a  reprobate.  In  order  to  obtain  heaven,  we  must 
be  ready  to  sacrifice  all,  even  our  lives  :  u  Fear  ye  not 
them/7  says  Christ,  u  that  kill  the  body,  and  are  not  able 
to  kill  the  soul ;  but  rather  fear  him  that  can  destrdy 
both  soul  and  body  in  hell."  (Matt,  x,  28.) 

How  often  do  we  meet  with  men  who  tell  us  that  they 
would  gladly  become  Catholics,  but  it  is  too  hard  to  live 
up  to  the  laws  and  maxims  of  the  Church  !  They  know 
very  well  that,  if  they  become  Catholics,  they  must  lead 
honest  and  sober  lives,  they  must  be  pure,  they  must 
respect  the  holy  sacrament  of  marriage,  they  must  check 
their  sinful  passions;  and  this  they  are  unwilling  to  do: 
"  Men  love  darkness  rather  than  light,"  says  Jesus  Christ, 
"because  their  deeds  are  evil."  Remember  the  well- 
known  proverb :  u  There  are  none  so  deaf  as  those  that 
will  not  hear." 

They  are  kept  back  from  embracing  the  faith,  because 
they  know  that  the  truths  of  our  religion  are  at  war  with 
their  sinful  inclinations.  It  is  not  surprising  that  these 
inclinations  should  revolt  against  immolation.  The  pru 
dence  of  the  flesh  understands  and  feels  that  it  loses  all, 
if  the  truths  of  faith  are  listened  to  and  taken  for  the 
rule  of  conduct ;  that  it  must  renounce  the  unlawful  enjf>y- 
ments  of  life,  must  die  to  the  world  and  to  itself,  and  bear 
the  mortification  of  Jesus  Christ  in  its  body. 

At  the  mere  thought  of  this  crucifixion  of  the  flesh  and 
its  concupiscence,  imposed  on  every  one  who  would  belong 
to  the  Saviour,  the  whole  animal  man  is  troubled.  Self- 
love  suggests  a  thousand  reasons  to  delay  at  least  the  sacri 
fices  that  affright  them.  The  prudence  of  the  flesh,  having 
the  ascendency,  obscures  the  most  simple  truths,  attracts  and 

CREED.  297 

flatters  the  powers  of  the  soul ;  and  when,  afterward,"  faith 
endeavors  to  interpose  its  authority,  it  finds  the  under 
standing  prejudiced,  the  will  overcome  or  weakened,  the 
heart  all  earthly-minded  ;  and  hard,  indeed,  is  it  for  faith  to 
reduce  the  soul  to  its  dominion.  Those  who  listen  to  the 
prudence  of  the  flesh  will  never  become  Catholics. 

Finally,  those  who  seek  the  truth  must  show  their 
sincerity  of  heart  in  fervently  and  frequently  praying  to 
God  that  they  may  find  the  truth,  and  the  right  way  that 
leads  to  it.  Faith  is  not  a  mere  natural  gift ;  it  is  not 
an  acquired  virtue  or  habit  j  it  is  something  altogether 
supernatural.  The  right  use  of  the  natural  faculties  can, 
indeed,  prepare  one  to  receive  faith  ;  but  true  faith, — that 
is,  to  believe,  with  an  unwavering  conviction,  in  the 
existence  of  all  those  things  which  God  has  made  known, — 
is  a  supernatural  gift, — a  gift  which  no  one  can  have  of 
himself;  it  is  the  free  gift  of  God :  "  For  by  grace  you  are 
saved,  through  faith,  and  that  not  of  yourselves,  for  it  is  the 
gift  of  God."  (Eph.  ii,  8.)  God  is  so  great  and  good,  that 
we  cannot  merit  and  possess  this  good  by  anything  we  may 
do.  Now,  it  is  by  the  gift  of  faith  that  we  have  in  some 
measure  a  glimpse  of  all  that  God  is,  and  that  consequently 
we  attach  ourselves  to  this  supreme  good,  and  behold ! 
we  are  saved.  We  can  say  with  David,  in  the  trtiest  sense, 
that  in  enlightening  us  the  Lord  saves  us :  "  The  Lord 
is  my  light,  and  my  salvation."  (Ps.  xxvi,  1.)  Hence  it 
is  evident  that  this  gift  is  a  free  gift  of  God,  without  the 
least  merit  on  our  part.  When  this  light  or  grace  shines 
upon  the  understanding,  it  enlightens  the  understanding; 
so  as  to  render  it  most  certain  of  the  truths  which  are 
proposed  to  it.  But  this  mere  knowledge  of  the  truth  is 
not  as  yet  the  full  gift  of  faith.  St.  Paul  says  (Rom.  i,  2) 


that  the  heathens  knew  God,  but  they  would  not  obey  him, 
and  consequently  their  knowledge  did  not  save  them.  You 
may  convince  a  man  that  the  Catholic  Church  is  the  true 
Church,  but  he  will  not,  on  that  account,  become  a  Catholic. 
Our  Saviour  himself  was  known  by  many,  and  yet  he 
was  followed  only  by  few.  Faith,  then,  is  something  more 
than  knowledge.  Knowledge  is  the  submission  of  the  un 
derstanding  to  truth  ;  but  faith  implies  also  the  submission 
of  the  will  to  the  truth.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  the  light 
or  grace  of  faith  must  also  move  the  will,  because  a  good 
will  also  belongs  to  faith,  since  no  one  can  believe  unless 
he  is  willing  to  believe.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  faith 
is  also  rewarded  by  God,  and  infidelity  punished :  (t  He 
that  believeth  and  is  baptized  shall  be  saved;  but  he 
that  believeth  not  shall  be  condemned."  (Mark  xvi,  16.) 
God  will  never  refuse  to  bestow  this  gift  of  faith  upo^n 
those  who  seek  the  truth  with  a  sincere  heart,  use  their 
best  endeavors  to  find  it,  and  sincerely  pray  for  it  with 
confidence  and  perseverance.  Witness  Clovis,  the  heathen 
King  of  the  Franks.  When  he,  together  with  his  whole 
army,  was  in  the  greatest  danger  of  being  defeated  by 
the  Alemanni,  he  prayed  as  follows : 

u  Jesus  Christ,  thou  of  whom  Clotilde  (the  king's 
Christian  wife)  has  often  told  me  that  thou  art  the  Son  of 
the  living  God,  and  that  thou  givest  aid  to  the  hard-pressed, 
and  victory  to  those  who  trust  in  thee  !  I  humbly  crave  thy 
powerful  assistance.  If  thou  grantest  me  the  victory  over 
my  enemies  I  will  believe  in  thee,  and  be  baptized  in  thy 
name  ;  for  I  have  called  upon  my  gods  in  vain.  They  must 
be  impotent,  as  they  cannot  help  those  who  serve  them. 
Now  I  invoke  thee,  desiring  to  believe  in  thee ;  do,  then, 
deliver  me  from  the  hands  of  my  adversaries !  " 

CREED.  299 

No  sooner  had  he  uttered  this  prayer  than  the  Alemanni 
were  panic-stricken,  took  to  flight,  and  soon  after,  seeing 
their  king  slain,  sued  for  peace.  Thereupon  Clovis  blended 
both  nations,  the  Franks  and  the  Alemanni,  together, 
returned  home,  and  became  a  Christian. 

Witness  F.  Thayer,  an  Anglican  minister.  When  as 
yet  in  great  doubt  and  uncertainty  about  the  truth  of  his 
religion,  he  began  to  pray  as  follows  : 

"  God  of  all  goodness,  almighty  and  eternal  Father  of 
mercies,  and  Saviour  of  mankind !  I  implore  thee,  by  thy 
sovereign  goodness,  to  enlighten  my  mind,  and  to  touch 
my  heart,  that,  by  means  of  true  faith,  hope,  and  charity, 
I  may  live  and  die  in  the  true  religion  of  Jesus  Christ. 
I  confidently  believe  that,  as  there  is  but  one  God,  there 
can  be  but  one  faith,  one  religion,  one  only  path  to  salva 
tion  ;  and  that  every  other  path  opposed  thereto  can  lead 
but  to  perdition.  This  path,  0  my  God !  I  anxiously  seek 
after,  that  I  may  follow  it,  and  be  saved.  Therefore  I 
protest,  before  thy  divine  majesty,  and  I  swear  by  all  thy 
divine  attributes,  that  I  will  follow  the  religion  which  thou 
shalt  reveal  to  me  as  the  true  one,  and  will  abandon,  at 
whatever  cost,  that  wherein  I  shall  have  discovered  errors 
and  falsehood.  I  confess  that  I  do  not  deserve  this  favor 
for  the  greatness  of  my  sins,  for  which  I  am  truly  peni 
tent,  seeing  they  offend  a  God  who  is  so  good,  so  holy, 
and  so  worthy  of  love ;  but  what  I  deserve  not,  I  hope  to 
obtain  from  thine  infinite  mercy ;  and  I  beseech  thee  to 
grant  it  unto  me  through  the  merits  of  that  precious  blood 
which  was  shed  for  us  sinners  by  thine  only  Son,  Jesus 
Christ  our  Lord,  who  livetli  and  reigneth,  etc.  Ame^n." 

God  was  not  slow  to  hear  so  sincere  and  fervent  a 
prayer,  and  Thayer  became  a  Catholic.  Let  any  one  who 

300  THE   NINTH    ARTICLE    OF 

is  as  yet  groping  in  the  darkness  of  infidelity  and  error, 
pray  in  the  same  manner,  and  the  God  of  all  light  and 
truth  will  bestow  upon  him  the  gift  of  faith  in  a  high 
degree.  It  is  human  to  fall  into  error,  devilish  to'  remain 
in  it,  and  angelical  to  rise  from  it,  by  embracing  the  truth 
which  leads  to  God,  by  whom  it  has  been  revealed  and  is 
preserved  in  his  Church. 

20.  Will  all  Catholics  be  saved? 

No  :  those  Catholics  only  will  be  saved  who  believe  and 
practise  what  the  Church  teaches. 

We  teach,  indeed,  and  we  firmly  believe,  that  there  is 
no  salvation  out  of  the  Catholic  Church  ;  yet  we  do  not 
teach  that  all  who  are  members  of  the  Catholic  Church 
will  be  saved.  Certainly  in  our  cities  and  large  towns, 
nay,  even  in  small  villages  of  our  great  country,  may  be 
found  many  so-called  liberal  or  nominal  Catholics,  who  are 
no  credit  to  their  religion,  to  their  spiritual  mother,  the 
Church.  Subjected  as  they  were,  in  the  land  of  their 
birth,  to  the  restraints  imposed  by  Protestant  or  quasi- 
Protestant  governments,  they  feel,  on  coming  here,  that 
they  are  loosed  from  all  restraint ;  and  forgetting  the 
obedience  that  they  owe  to  their  pastors,  to  the  prelates 
whom  the  Holy  Ghost  has  placed  over  them,  they  become 
insubordinate,  and  live  more  like  non-Catholics  than 
Catholics.  The  children  of  these  are,  to  a  great  exteht? 
shamefully  neglected,  and  suffered  to  grow  up  without 
sufficient  moral  and  religious  instruction,  and  to  become 
the  recruits  of  our  vicious  population.  This  is  certainly  to 
be  deplored,  but  can  easily  be  explained  without  prejudice 
to  the  truth  and  holiness  of  the  Catholic  religion,  by  ad 
verting  to  the  condition  to  which  those  individuals  were 
reduced  before  coming  to  this  country  $  to  their  disap- 


pointments  in  a  strange  land ;  to  their  exposure  to  new 
and  unlooked-for  temptations';  to  the  fact  that  they  were 
by  no  means  the  best  of  Catholics,  even  in  their  native 
countries  ;  to  their  poverty,  destitution,  ignorance,  insuffi 
cient  culture,  and  a  certain  natural  shiftlessness  and  reck 
lessness,  as  well  as  to  the  great  lack  of  Catholic  schools, 
churches,  and  fervent  priests.  As  low  and  degraded  as 
this  class  of  the  Catholic  population  may  be,  they  are 
not  so  low  as  the'  corresponding  class  of  non -Catholics 
in  every  nation  j  at  the  worst,  there  is  always  some  germ 
that,  with  proper  care,  may  be  nursed  into  life,  that  may 
blossom  and  bear  fruit.  Their  mother,  the  Church, 
n^ver  ceases  to  warn  them  to  repent,  and  be  cleansed 
from  their  sins  by  the  sacrament  of  penance.  If  they 
do  not  heed  the  voice  of  their  mother,  but  continue  to  live 
in  sin  to  the  end  of  their  lives,  their  condemnation  will  be 
greater  than  that  of  those  who  were  born  to  an  inheri 
tance  of  error,  and  whose  minds  have  never  been  pene 
trated  by  the  light  of  truth  :  "  That  servant,"  says  Jesus 
Christ,  "who  knew  the  will  of  his  Lord,  and  did  not 
according  to  his  will,  shall  be  beaten  with  many  stripes. 
But  he  that  knew  not,  and  did  things  worthy  of  stripes, 
shall  be  beaten  with  few  stripes.  And  unto  whomsoever 
much  is  given,  of  him  much  shall  be  required  j  and  to 
whom  they  have  committed  much,  of  him  they  will  demand 
the  more."  (Luke  xii,  47,  48.)  "  Woe  to  thee,  Corozain, 
woe  to  thee,  Bethsaida  j  for  if  in  Tyre  and  Sidon  had  been 
wrought  the  mighty  works  that  have  been  wrought  in 
you,  they  would  have  done  penance  long  ago,  sitting  in 
sackcloth  and  ashes.  But  it  will  be  more  tolerable  for 
Tyre  and  Sidon  at  the  judgment  than  for  you  j  and  thou, 
Capharnaum,  which  art  exalted  unto  heaven,  thou  shalt 


be  thrust  down  to  hell."  (Luke  x,  13-15.)  To  know, 
then,  and  to  believe  the  Catholic  doctrine, — the  will  of  God, 
— is  one  thing,  and  to  live  up  to  it  is  another.  Hence,  "  Not 
the  hearers  of  the  law  are  just  before  God,  but  the'  doers 
of  the  law  shall  be  justified."  (Rom.  ii,  13.)  Holy  Scrip 
ture  compares  the  true  faith,  sometimes  to  a  buckler,  and 
sometimes  to  a  sword.  The  buckler  protects  him  only 
who  covers  himself  with  it  j  and  a  sword,  to  be  useful  to 
repel  an  enemy,  must  be  drawn  from  the  scabbard.  So 
it  is  not  mere  faith,  but  its  practice,  which  constitutes  its 
merit,  and  strength,  and  reward.  The  Gospel  brought  light 
and  death:  light  to  those  who  practise  it,  and  death  to 
those  who  neglect  its  practice.  "  From  the  days  of  John 
the  Baptist  until  now,"  says  our  Lord,  "  the  kingdom  of 
heaven  suffereth  violence,  and  the  violent  bear  it  away." 
(Matt,  xi,  12.)  The  difference  between  the  practical  and 
the  lukewarm  Christian  is  simply  this  :  the  latter  regards 
faith  as  a  matter  of  fact,  but  without  its  consequences, 
or  practical  part.  He  remembers,  it  is  true,  from  time 
to  time,  the  great  truths  of  religion :  death,  judgment, 
heaven  and  hell ;  but  he  remembers  these  and  other  truths, 
and  his  duties,  only  in  a  superficial  manner  j  he  never 
reflects  seriously  on  them,  and  for  this  reason  he  is  never 
touched  by  them.  No  wonder  if  he  continues  to  walk  on 
the  broad  road  to  hell,  and  is  lost.  But  the  practical 
Christian  always  tries  to  walk  on  the  narrow  road  to 
heaven.  He  constantly  meditates  upon  the  sacred  truths 
of  his  religion.  Everywhere  he  carries  with  him  their 
wholesome  impression.  The  truths  of  faith  animate  him 
in  all  the  details  of  life.  He  has  for  his  principle  of  action 
the  Holy  Ghost. — the  Spirit  of  Jesus  Christ.  It  is  no  more 
he  who  lives  j  it  is  Jesus  Christ  who  lives  in  him.  Accord- 


ingly,  he  judges  of  the  things  of  this  world  in  the  know 
ledge  which  Jesus  Christ  has  given  us  in  their  regard ; 
that  is,  he  judges  of  them  even  as  Jesus  Christ  himself 
judges  of  them.  Hence  it  is  that  he  fears  only  that  which 
faith  teaches  him  to  fear.  He  desires  only  those  things 
which  faith  tells  him  to  wish  for  j  he  hopes  only  for  that 
which  faith  teaches  him  to  hope  for.  He  loves,  or  he 
hates,  or  he  despises,  all  that  faith  teaches  him  to  love,  or 
to  hate,  or  to  despise.  What  does  he  say  of  the  riches  of 
this  world  ?  He  says,  with  Jesus  Christ :  "  Blessed  are 
the  poor  in  spirit,  for  theirs  is  the  kingdom  of  heaven " 
(Matt,  v,  3) ;  and,  "  Woe  to  you  that  are  rich,  for  you 
have  your  consolation."  (Luke  vi,  24.) 

What  does  he  say  of  the  honors  of  this  world  ?  He 
says,  with  Jesus  Christ :  "  Woe  to  you  when  men  shall 
bless  you."  (Luke  vi,  26.) 

What  does  he  say  of  the  wisdom  of  this  world  ?  He 
says,  with  St.  Paul :  "  The  wisdom  of  this  world  is  foolish 
ness  with  God."  (1  Cor.  iii,  19.)  And  with  Jesus  Christ, 
he  says :  "  Unless  you  become  as  little  children,  you 
shall  not  enter  the  kingdom  of  heaven." 

What  judgment  does  he  pass  upon  the  pleasures  of  this 
world  ?  He  says,  with  Jesus  Christ :  "  Woe  to  you  that 
now  laugh,  for  you  shall  mourn  and  weep."  (Luke  vi,  25.) 
"  Watch  ye,  therefore,  because  you  know  not  at  what 
hour  the  Lord  will  come."  (Matt,  xxiv,  42.) 

What  judgment  does  he  pass  upon  old  age  ?  With  the 
Holy  Ghost,  he  says :  "  Venerable  old  age  is  not  that  of 
long  time,  nor  counted  by  the  number  of  years,  but  a 
spotless  life  is  old  age."  (Wisd.  iv,  8.) 

What  does  he  say  of  the  trials,  persecutions,  and  injus 
tices  of  this  world  ?  He  says,  with  Jesus  Christ :  "  Blessed 

304  THE    NINTH   ARTICLE    OF 

shall  ye  be  when  men  shall  hate  you,  and  when  they  shall 
separate  you,  and  shall  reproach  you,  and  cast  out  your 
name  as  evil,  for  the  Son  of  man's  sake.  Be  glad  in 
that  day  and  rejoice,  for  behold  your  reward  is  great  in 
.  heaven."  (Luke  vi,  22.) 

He  watches  and  prays.  He  watches  over  his  soul,  that 
no  sinful  thought  may  enter  there  j  and  should  it  enter 
unawares,  he  casts  it  out  instantly.  He  watches  over  his 
heart,  that  no  sinful  affection  may  possess  it.  He  watches 
over  his  eyes,  that  they  may  not  gaze  on  any  pictures, 
books  or  other  objects,  that  could  soil  the  purity  of  his 
soul.  He  watches  over  his  ears,  that  they  may  not 
listen  to  any  immodest  words,  or  words  of  double  meaning. 
He  watches  over  his  tongue,  and  remembers  that  his 
tongue  has  been  sanctified  in  holy  communion,  by  touching 
the  virginal  flesh  and  blood  of  Jesus  Christ.  He  watches 
over  his  whole  body ;  for  he  knows  that  the  body  of  the 
good  Christian  is  the  temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  conse 
crated  in  baptism,  and  that  he  who  desecrates  a  holy 
temple  is  accursed  of  God.  He  is  watchful  day  and 
night,  and  avoids  the  occasions  of  sin, — those  persons  and 
places  which  might  be  to  him  an  occasion  of  sin. 

He  also  prays  often  to  Jesus.  He  knows  that  Jesus  is 
a  jealous  God,  who  commands  us  to  call  upon  him,  espe 
cially  in  the  hour  of  temptation,  and  to  receive  him  often 
in  holy  communion.  He  prays  to  Mary,  the  mother  of 
faith,  the  lovely  standard-bearer  of  all  the  elect.  The 
very  name  of  Mary  is  sweet  balm  to  him,  which  heals  and 
fortifies  the  soul.  The  very  thought  of  Mary's  purity  is 
a  check  upon  his  passions — a  fragrant  rose  that  puts  to 
flight  the  foul  spirit  of  uncleanness. 

Thus  he  thinks,  judges,  and  acts  according  to  the  truths 

CREED.  305 

of  the  Gospel,  or  the  principles  of  Jesus  Christ ;  and  it  is 
thus  that  he  lives  by  faith,  as  St.  Paul  says.  Faith  is  the 
life  of  the  just  man.  It  is  the  life  of  his  intellect,  by  the 
truths  which  enlighten  him  ;  it  is  the  life  of  his  heart,  by 
the  sentiments  of  justice  and  holiness  which  it  imparts ; 
it  is  the  life  of  his  works,  which  it  renders  meritorious  for 
all  eternity  ;  and  this  happy  life  is  obtained  and  enjoyed 
in  the  Church  Militant  of  Christ  alone — in  the  One  Holy 
Roman  Catholic  and  Apostolic  Church,  "which  Christ  so 
took  unto  himself,  as  to  make  it  a  partaker  of  his  own 
divinity.  He,  therefore,  who  confesses  in  God  this  holy 
Church  is  so  united  to  Christ,  as  to  be  translated  into  the 
whole  glory  of  his  divinity — the  body  being  united  to  its 
head;  the  Bride  (Church)  to  her  Bridegroom,  Jesus  Christ." 
(St.  Peter  Chrysologus,  Serm.  57,  58  and  60. 

21.  What  do  we  believe  when  we  say,  I  believe  the  holy 
Catholic  Church? 

We  believe  :  1 ,  that  the  holy  Catholic  Church  alone  is  the 
true  Church  of  Christ;  2,  that  she  is  infallible  in  her 
teaching,  and  endless  in  her  duration ;  3,  that  out  of  the 
Catholic  Church  there  is  no  salvation. 

It  is  now  nearly  nineteen  centuries  since  the  Roman 
Catholic  Church  was  established  by  Christ.  Ever  since 
that  time  she  has  been  like  a  "  city  set  upon  a  hill,  which 
cannot  be  hid."  She  can  be  seen  by  all.  She  can  be 
known  to  all  by  the  marks  of  unity,  holiness,  Catholicity 
and  Apostolicity,  which  are  indelibly  stamped  upon  her. 
She  is  "  one  body,"  living  under  one  Head  ;  she  is  "  one 
sheepfold  under  one  Shepherd  ;"  she  is  a  kingdom  under  one 
King  j  she  is  an  ark  or  ship  commanded  by  one  Captain ; 
she  is  built  on  an  immovable  rock,  which  is  Peter :  she 
is  possessed  of  the  rights  of  Jesus  Christ}  she  is  the 

306  THE    NINTH   ARTICLE    OP 

infallible  teacher  of  the  doctrines  of  Jesus  Christ  j  she 
exercises  the  authority  of  Jesus  Christ;  she  is  the 
faithful  guardian  of  the  spiritual  treasures  of  Jesus 
Christ ;  she  lives  by  the  life  and  spirit  of  Jesus  Christ ; 
she  is  guided  and  protected  by  Jesus  Christ ;  she  speaks, 
she  gives  orders  and  commands,  she  makes  concessions, 
prohibitions,  and  definitions,  she  looses  and  binds,  in  the 
name  of  Jesus  Christ. 

The  Church  is  the  salt  of  the  earth,  which  preserves 
the  world  from  corruption  5  she  is  the  guide  of  men,  to 
prevent  them  from  falling  into  the  pitfalls  of  Satan  ;  she 
is  the  light  of  the  world,  to  reveal  to  mankind  the  false 
maxims  which  are  gnawing  at  their  lives,  and  the  falla- 
ices  which  are  undermining  their  happiness  j  she  is  the 
remedy  for  all  ills,  and  the  fountain  of  all  blessings ;  she 
can  never  give  up  the  work  for  which  Jesus  Christ  has 
established  her  ;  she  has  Christ's  promises  :  "  I  will  give 
you  the  spirit  of  faith;"  "I  will  be  with  you  always  j  " 
"  The  gates  of  hell  shall  not  prevail  against  thee  ;"  "  What 
soever  you  shall  bind  on  earth  shall  be  bound  in  heaven, 
and  whatsoever  you  shall  loose  on  earth  shall  be  loosed  in 
heaven  ;  "  "  He  that  heareth  you  heareth  me  ;  "  "  If  any 
man  will  not  hear  the  Church,  let  him  be  as  the  pagan 
and  a  publican  ;  "  "  The  Church  is  the  pillar  and  founda 
tion  of  the  truth." 

From  the  time  of  the  apostles  the  true  followers  of 
Christ  have  been  called  Catholics.  The  meaning  of  this 
appellation  has  always  been  that  they  belonged  to  the 
One  Holy  Catholic  Apostolic  and  Roman  Church.  The 
term  "Catholic'7  has  always  distinguished  them  from 
every  heretical  sect.  They  were  known  by  this  term  in 
every  part  of  the  world.  Within  the  few  last  years,  how- 


ever,  certain  persons  have  arisen  who  are  not  satisfied 
with  the  name  of  Catholic.  Hence  they  call  themselves 
"  Liberal  Catholics."  If  asked  in  what  they  differ  from 
Catholics,  they  answer :  "  Our  motto  is :  Catholic  with 
the  pope,  but  liberal  with  the  government." 

Liberal  Catholics  falsely  assert  "that  it  is  a  mistake  to 
protect  and  foster  religion ;  because  religion,"  they  say? 
u  will  flourish  much  better  if  left  alone  ;  that  the  world  has 
entered  a  new  phase,  and  has  begun  to  run  a  new  course, 
and  consequently  the  Church  should  accommodate  herself 
to  the  spirit  of  the  age  ;  that  religion  has  nothing  to  do  with 
politics  ;  that  it  has  to  do  only  with  the  private  lives  of 
men  ;  that  religion  must  keep  inside  the  Church — that  it 
is  meant  for  Sundays  alone ;  that  we  must  be  generous 
in  our  religious  feelings  toward  non-Catholics;  that  a 
Catechism,  therefore,  in  which  every  truth  taught  by  the 
Church  is  set  forth  in  its  full  bearing,  is  not  fit  to  be  put 
in  the  hands  of  our  children,  because  it  is  calculated  to 
repel  the  children  of  non-Catholics,  and  alienate  their 
feelings,  and  to  make  religious  fanatics  of  our  good  chil 
dren,"  and  the  like.  A  Liberal  Catholic,  therefore,  is  a 
compound  of  true  and  false  principles.  He  has  two 
consciences  :  one  for  his  public,  and  another  for  his  private 
life.  The  motto,  "Catholic  with  the  pope,  but  liberal 
with  the  government,"  has  for  its  basis  the  infidel  doctrine 
of  the  separation  of  the  Church  from  the  State  j  of  the 
spiritual  from  the  temporal, — a  doctrine  condemned  by 
Pius  IX,  in  the  fifty-fifth  proposition  of  the  Syllabus. 
This  doctrine  tends  to  put  the  State  aboVe  the  Church,  as 
if  the  State  were  the  omnipotent  ruler  of  all  things,  the 
teacher  of  truth,  the  fountain  of  right,  the  source  of  law, 
and  the  interpreter  of  faith.  In  the  eightieth  proposition 


of  the  Syllabus,  all  the  false  principles  of  Liberalism,  of 
progress,  and  of  modern  civilization,  are  declared  to  be 
irreconcilable  with  the  Catholic  faith. 

On  the  18th  of  June,  1871,  Pope  Pius  IX,  in  replying 
to  a  French  deputation  headed  by  the  Bishop  of  Nevers, 
spoke  as  follows :  "  My  children,  my  words  must  express 
to  you  what  I  have  in  my  heart.  That  which  afflicts 
your  country,  and  prevents  it  from  meriting  the  blessings 
of  God,  is  the  mixture  of  principles :  I  will  speak  out, 
and  not  hold  my  peace.  That  which  I  fear  is  not  the 
Commune  of  Paris,  those  miserable  men,  those  real  demons 
of  hell,  roaming  upon  the  face  of  the  earth — no,  not  the 
Commune  of  Paris ;  that  which  I  fear  is  Liberal  Catholi 
cism.  ...  I  have  said  so  more  than  forty  times,  and  I  repeat 
it  to  you  now,  through  the  love  that  I  bear  you.  The  real 
scourge  of  France  is  Liberal  Catholicism,  which  endeavors 
to  unite  two  principles,  as  repugnant  to  each  other  as  fire 
and  water.  My  children,  I  conjure  you  to  abstain  from 
those  doctrines  which  are  destroying  you.  ...  If  this 
error  be  not  stopped,  it  will  lead  to  the  ruin  of  religion 
and  of  France."  In  a  brief,  dated  July  9,  1871,  to  Mgr. 
Segur,  the  Holy  Father  says :  "  It  is  not  only  the  infidel 
sects  who  are  conspiring  against  the  Church  and  society 
that  the  Holy  See  has  often  reproved,  but  also  those  men 
who,  granting  that  they  act  in  good  faith,  and  with  upright 
intentions,  yet  err  in  caressing  liberal  doctrines.77  On 
July  28,  1873,  his  Holiness  thus  expressed  himself:  "  The 
members  of  the  Catholic  Society  of  Quimper  certainly 
run  no  risk  of  being  turned  away  from  their  obedience  to 
the  Apostolic  See  by  the  writings  and  efforts  of  the 
declared  enemies  of  the  Church;  but  they  may  glide 
down  the  incline  of  those  so-called  liberal  opinions  which 


have  been  adopted  by  many  Catholics,  otherwise  honest 
and  pious,  who,  by  the  influence  of  their  religious  char 
acter,  may  easily  exercise  a  powerful  ascendency  over 
men,  and  lead  them  to  very  pernicious  opinions.  Tell, 
therefore,  the  members  of  the  Catholic  Society  that,  on 
the  numerous  occasions  on  which  we  have  censured  those 
who  hold  liberal  opinions,  we  did  not  mean  those  who 
hate  the  Church,  whom  it  would  have  been  useless  to 
reprove,  but  those  whom  we  have  just  described.  Those 
men  preserve  and  foster  the  hidden  poison  of  liberal 
principles,  which  they  sucked  as  the  milk  of  their  edu 
cation,  pretending  that  those  principles  are  not  infected 
with  malice,  and  cannot  interfere  with  religion  j  so  they 
instil  this  poison  into  men's  minds,  and  propagate  the 
germs  of  those  perturbations  by  which  the  world  has  for 
a  long  time  been  vexed." 

A  Liberal  Catholic,  then,  is  no  true  Catholic.  The 
*vord  Catholic  is  no  vain  and  empty  word.  To  be  a  true 
Catholic  means  to  hold  most  firmly  all  those  truths  which 
Christ  and  his  apostles  have  taught,  which  the  Catholic 
Church  has  always  proclaimed,  which  the  saints  have 
professed,  which  the  popes  and  councils  have  defined, 
and  which  the  Fathers  and  Doctors  of  the  Church  have 
defended.  He  who  denies  but  one  of  those  truths,  or 
hesitates  to  receive  one  of  them,  is  not  a  Catholic.  He 
claims  to  exercise  the  right  of  private  judgment  in  regard 
to  the  doctrine  of  Christ,  and  therefore  he  is  a  heretic. 
The  true  Catholic  knows  and  believes  that  there  can  be 
no  compromise  between  God  and  the  devil,  between  truth 
and  error,  between  orthodox  faith  and  heresy.  St. 
Stephen,  the  first  martyr,  was  no  compromiser.  When 
accused  of  being  a  follower  of  Jesus  of  Nazareth,  he, 

310  THE   NINTH    ARTICLE    OF 

in  his  turn,  accused  his  enemies  of  being  the  murderers 
of  Christ.  All  the  holy  martyrs  of  the  Church  were  no 
compromisers.  Being  charged  by  the  heathens  with  the 
folly  of  worshipping  and  following  a  crucified  God,  they,  in 
their  turn,  charged  the  heathens  with  the  impiety  of  wor 
shipping  creatures,  and  following  the  devil.  Why  is  our 
Holy  Father,  Pope  Pius  IX,  a  prisoner  ?  It  is  because  he 
is  not,  and  cannot  be,  a  compromiser.  Why  are,  at  this 
time,  so  many  bishops  and  priests  exiled  or  in  prison  ?  It 
is  because  they  are  no  compromisers.  Why  is  the  Catholic 
Church  persecuted  in  Germany  and  other  parts  of  the 
world  ?  It  is  because  God,  by  means  of  persecution, 
purifies  his  Church  from  liberal  or  compromising  Catholics. 
And  as  there  are  so  many  liberal  Catholics  in  this  country, 
persecution  must  come  to  separate  them  from  the  Church. 
The  good  Catholic  knows  and  understands  that  the 
Catholic  Church  never  has  required,  nor  will  require,  a 
particular  form  of  civil  government  ;  for  she  has  lived  with 
the  Venetian  aristocracy,  with  the  Swiss  democracy,  with 
the  mixed  aristocracy  and  democracy  of  Genoa,  with 
the  British  and  the  United  States  constitutions,  and 
with  many  absolute  monarchies.  But  he  knows,  at  the 
same  time,  that  no  form  of  government,  no  times  and  cir 
cumstances,  can  change  the  doctrine  and  constitution  of 
the  Church,  because  they  are  divine,  immutable,  and 
everlasting.  The  good  Catholic,  therefore,  is  always  in 
readiness  to  obey,  in  all  things,  the  true  Spouse  of  Christ 
our  Lord,  the  holy  Roman  Catholic  Church.  The  well- 
instructed  Catholic  knows  that  between  Jesus  Christ  and 
his  Spouse,  the  Church,  there  is  but  one  and  the  same 
Spirit,  who  governs  and  directs  us  all  to  our  salvation, — 
that  same  Spirit  and  Lord  who  one  day  gave  the  law  on 



Mount  Sinai,  and  who  now  rules  and  governs  the  holy 
Church.  This  firm  adhesion  to  every  truth  of  the  Church 
distinguishes  the  true  Catholic  from  the  Liberal  Catholic,  as 
well  as  from  all  Protestants,  from  all  schismatics,  from  all 
heretics.  When  Protestants  abandoned  the  Church,  the 
guardian  of  divine  truth,  they  gave  themselves  up  to  hun 
dreds  of  errors.  Good  Catholics,  on  the  contrary,  keep 
ing,  as  they  do,  in  the  footsteps  of  the  Church,  and  humbly 
submitting  to  all  her  doctrines,  retain  within  themselves 
the  principle  of  truth  and  of  divine  certainty.  They  feel 
assured  that  what  the  Church  orders,  is  ordered  by  Jesus 
Christ  5  and  that  what  the  Church  forbids,  is  also  forbidden 
by  Jesus  Christ. 

The  principle  of  heresy  is  the  principle  of  rebellion 
against  the  Church,  and  against  every  lawful  authority  on 
earth,  The  principle  of  the  Church,  on  the  contrary,  is 
to  be  submissive  to  every  lawful  authority.  The  essential 
principle  of  politics  and  of  life  is  ardently  to  love  the 
Church,  profoundly  to  revere  the  Church,  unhesitatingly  to 
submit  to  the  Church,  and  to  be  most  closely  united  with 
the  Church.  Our  Lord  asks  of  us  no  other  submission  ;  he 
requires  of  us  no  other  faith  than  that  which  the  Church 
teaches.  His  will  and  his  truth  are  made  known  in  the 
Church.  As  he  and  his  Father  are  one,  so  also  he  and 
his  Church  are  one.  No  one  can,  in  truth,  call  God  his 
Father,  who  does  not  look  upon  the  Church  as  his  mother. 

In  the  Church  alone  there  are  certainty  and  security 
against  error.  Around  this  Rock  we  beho'ld  nothing  but 
raging  tempests,  nothing  but  disastrous  shipwrecks,  in 
difference  to  religion,  negation  of  all  worship,  the  abomi 
nation  of  atheism  and  immorality,  derision  of  holy  things, 
a  fanatic  pietism,  a  delirious  religiousness,  rationalism,  or 


the  denial  of  all  revelation  and  of  everything  supernatural. 
Every  non-Catholic  who  earnestly  seeks  to  learn  what  he 
is  to  believe,  every  one  who  yearns  to  obtain  certainty  in 
religious  matters,  must  sooner  or  later  turn  to  the, Church 
as  the  only  source  of  certainty,  the  only  guardian  of  th<3 
true  religion,  the  only  fountain  of  true  peace  and  happiness 
in  life  and  in  death. 

There  are  many  noble-hearted  souls  created  by  God  for 
a  high  purpose — to  shine  amid  the  angels  throughout  all 
eternity.  Their  sensibilities  are  so  keen,  that  they  seem 
born  only  to  suffer  and  weep.  Their  path  to  heaven  is, 
indeed,  a  path  of  thorns.  Their  griefs  and  yearnings  are 
such  that  but  few  can  understand  them.  God  help  these 
noble  souls  if  they  are  deprived  of  the  strength  and  con 
solations  of  the  Catholic  Church  !  Out  of  the  Church 
they  must  bear  their  anguish  alone.  In  the  hour  of  happi 
ness  they  were  told  that  religion  would  console  them  in  the- 
hour  of  sorrow.  And  now  the  hour  of  sorrow  has  come 
"Whither  shall  they  turn  for  strength  and  consolation1? 
To  books — to  the  Bible  ?  Books  are  cold  and  wearisome  ; 
their  words  are  dead.  Oh !  how  they  envy  the  penitent 
Magdalen,  who  could  sit  at  the  feet  of  Jesus,  and  hear  from 
his  blessed  lips  the  sweet  words  of  pardon  and  peace! 
They  turn  to  God  in  prayer,  but  God  answers  them  not  by 
the  Urim  and  Thummim ;  and,  in  their  doubt  and  loneli 
ness,  they  envy  even  the  Jews  of  old.  In  vain  do  they  listen 
to  the  voice  of  God,  because  God  has  appointed  a  voice 
to  speak  and  answer  in  his  name ;  but  that  voice  is  only 
within  the  shepherd's  fold,  the  Roman  Catholic  Church  j 
and  they  are  kept  without  the  fold  by  cruel  enemies, 
where  the  voice  of  the  shepherd  cannot  reach  them. 

How  different  it  is  with  the  faithful  Catholic  soul !     Try 


to  call  to  mind  some  virtuous  friend  of  yours  5  try  to  imagine 
one  who  is  learned  and  pious,  devoting  his  whole  life,  not 
to  the  care  of  a  family,  but  solely  to  the  service  of  God ; 
imagine  such  a  one  ever  ready  to  aid  you  in  your  neces 
sities,  spiritual  and  even  temporal,  ever  wise  in  giving 
counsel,  gentle  in  reproving,  clear  in  teaching,  and  power 
ful  in  word  and  deed  5  imagine  that  such  a  one  were  your 
friend, — your  intimate  friend, — how  great  would  be  your 
happiness ! 

Imagine,  moreover,  that  this  kind,  trustworthy  friend 
is  appointed  by  God  himself  to  be  your  constant  guide 
and  director ;  imagine  him  bound  by  the  most  sacred 
oath  never  to  reveal,  even  by  word  or  look,  any 
secret  you  may  confide  to  him  •  imagine,  moreover,  that 
this  friend  has  received  from  God  the  power  to  forgive 
every  sin  that  you  confess  to  him  with  true  contrition, — 
imagine  all  this,  and  you  will  have  what  every  Catholic 
has  in  the  priest  of  his  Church.  The  priest,  invested  as 
he  is  by  the  Church  with  her  divine  powers,  stands  con 
spicuous  in  the  midst  of  his  people.  He  has,  however, 
not  Deceived  his  extraordinary  powers  for  himself,  he  haa 
received  them  for  the  benefit  of  the  people ;  he  is  to  live, 
not  for  himself,  no,  he  is  to  live  for  the  people  ;  he  is  the 
companion  of  their  hardships  5  he  is  the  soother  of  their 
afflictions,  the  guardian  of  their  interests ;  he  is  the 
trustee  of  their  hearts,  the  sentinel  of  their  death-beds. 
Hence  the  good  Catholic  is  accustomed,  even  from  his 
childhood,  to  communicate  to  his  confessor  every  trial  and 
temptation  that  disturbs  his  peace  of  heart.  He  goes  to 
his  confessor  for  consolation  in  the  hour  of  darkness  and 
sorrow  ;  he  asks  his  advice  when  in  doubt ;  he  consults 
him  in  every  important  undertaking.  Our  Lord  Jesus 


Christ  promised  his  beloved  disciples  that,  though  he  would 
quit  the  earth,  yet  he  would  not  leave  them  i/m  orphans" — he 
would  send  them  the  Spirit  of  Truth  to  be  their  comforter. 
Now  this  divine  promise  was  ratified,  and  even  in1  a  great 
measure  fulfilled,  when?  on  Easter-Sunday  night,  Jesus 
appeared  to  his  apostles,  and  gave  them  the  Holy  Ghost, 
saying  :  "  Receive  ye  the  Holy  Ghost.  Whosesoever  sins 
you  forgive,  they  are  forgiven  them ;  and  whosesoever  sins 
you  retain,  they  are  retained."  At  that  solemn  moment 
Jesus  constituted  his  priests  fathers  of  the  faithful,  from 
whom  they  were  to  receive  the  spirit  of  grace  and  consola 
tion,  even  to  the  end  of  time. 

The  same  divine  hand  which  poured  such  wonderful 
affection  into  the  heart  of  the  mother,  fills  the  heart  of  the 
good  priest  with  divine  charity,  and  teaches  him  to  adapt 
his  treatment  to  the  spiritual  wants  of  his  penitent.  The 
priest  feels  for  his  penitent  as  an  earthly  father  feels  for 
his  child ;  and  as  a  spiritual  father,  he  judges  and  decides 
according  as  he  thinks  it  is  best  for  the  eternal  welfare  of 
the  penitent. 

To  the  faithful  Catholic  soul,  the  portals  of  the  Cath 
olic  Church,  his  most  tender  mother,  stand  ever  open. 
Hither  she  may  come  as  to  a  healing  fountain,  whose 
waters  ever  flow.  Here  she  may  lave  her  burning  brow  j 
here  she  may  drink  of  the  cooling  stream,  and  allay  the 
feverish  anguish  of  her  soul.  Here  Jesus  himself,  the 
dearest  of  friends,  speaks  to  her  by  the  mouth  of  him  to 
whom  he  has  given  the  Holy  Ghost, — the  spirit  of  con 

Mrs.  Moore,  a  very  intelligent  lady  of  Edinton,  North 
Carolina,  and  a  convert  to  our  holy  faith,  said  to  her 
Protestant  children  on  her  death-bed :  "  0  my  children  ! 


there  is  such  hope,  such  comfort  in  our  holy  religion  ! 
When  I  was  so  near  death,  and  believed  I  should  never 
see  you  again,  my  soul  was  filled  with  anguish.  When 
I  thought  I  was  so  soon  to  meet  my  God,  I  feared  ;  but 
when  I  had  made  my  confession  to  his  own  commissioned 
minister,  and  received  absolution  in  the  name  of  the  Holy 
Trinity,  death  was  divested  of  every  sting.  Each  day  I 
thank  God  more  and  more  that  he  has  given  me  grace  to 
break  the  ties  that  kept  me  from  the  Church.  I  have 
never  looked  back  with  regret,  and,  in  fact,  I  wonder  why 
I  could  ever  have  been  anything  but  a  Catholic." 

Go  to  the  sick-bed  j  draw  near  the  bedside  of  that  poor 
wretch  whom  every  one  has  forsaken  ;  ask  him  who  is  the 
consoling  angel  that  pours  upon  his  weary  heart  the  balm 
of  hope  and  consolation,  and  he  will  tell  you  it  is  the 
Roman  Catholic  priest.  About  twenty  years  ago,  when 
the  French  troops  were  encamped  around  Gallipolis,  the 
cholera  burst  suddenly  ^upon  them.  They  were  unpre 
pared  for  that  terrible  visitor.  Father  Gloriot,  S.  J.,  was 
alone  in  an  army  of  ten  thousand  men.  "  I  was  obliged," 
says  he,  "  to  hear  their  confessions  on  my  knees,  and 
stooping  by  their  couches.  Indeed,  I  learned  then  that, 
to  save  souls  for  Jesus  Christ,  it  is  necessary  to  undergo, 
with  him,  the  double  agony  of  mind  and  body.  Yet  my 
greatest  trial  was  my  loneliness.  I  was  alone  ;  I  had  not 
had  the  consolation  of  confession  for  six  weeks  past  j 
everybody  died  around  me,  and,  should  I  be  taken  sick, 
there  was  none  to  assist  me  in  my  dying  hour.  But  God, 
in  his  mercy,  preserved  me,  that  I  might  attend  to  the 
wants  of  souls  so  well  prepared.  The  trials  were  certainly 
great,  but  great  were  also  the  consolations.  Whenever  I 
entered  those  places  of  desolation,  I  was  hailed  from  all 


parts — (  Chaplain,  here  !  come  here  to  me  !  Make  haste 
to  reconcile  me  to  God !  I  have  only  a  few  moments  to 
live  !?  Some  would  press  my  hand  to  their  hearts,  and 
say,  with  grateful  feelings  :  i  How  lucky  for  us  that  you 
are  here !  Were  you  not  with  us,  who  would  console  us 
in  our  last  moments  V ' 

Enter  the  dark  and  mouldy  dungeon  where  the  unhappy 
prisoner  pines  away  in  weary  captivity  ;  ask  him  who  it 
is  that  lightens  his  chains,  and  makes  his  prison  walls  look 
less  dreary,  and  he  will  tell  you  it  is  the  priest  of  the 
Catholic  Church. 

Go  upon  the  scaffold  where  the  wretched  criminal  is 
about  to  expiate  his  crime.  Who  is  it  that  stands  at  his 
side,  and  strips  death  of  its  terrors  ?  It  is  again  the 
priest.  With  one  hand  the  priest  shows  the  dying  man  the 
cross,  the  hope  of  the  repentant  sinner,  and  with  the  other 
he  points  to  heaven,  that  blessed  home  where  the  weary 
find  rest. 

In  1851,  a  murder  was  committed  near  Paris,  in  France. 
A  captain,  of  the  carabineers,  an  excellent  officer,  beloved 
by  all,  going,  as  usual,  the  rounds  of  the  stables,  had 
reprimanded  one  of  the  troopers  whose  conduct  had  riot 
been  very  regular.  The  latter  made  no  reply,  but  turned 
away  with  apparently  a  calm  countenance,  and  went  up  to 
the  mess-room.  There  he  loaded  one  of  his  horse-pistols, 
and,  going  back  to  the  stable,  approached  his  captain,  and, 
with  a  deadly  aim,  discharged  the  arm  against  the  loins  of 
the  officer. 

The  unfortunate  man  fell,  weltering  in  blood.  They 
took  him  up,  carried  him  to  his  room,  and  the  sur 
geons  pronounced  the  wound  mortal.  In  fact,  the  poor 
captain  breathed  his  last  a  few  hours  after,  in  the  arms 


of  his  old  mother,  in  the  midst  of  horrible  sufferings, 
endured  heroically,  and  with  sentiments  of  faith  and  charity 
truly  admirable.  He  had  made  his  confession  with  great 
piety,  had  received  the  blessed  sacrament,  and  in  imitation 
of  his  divine  Master  praying  on  the  cross  for  his  crucifiers, 
had  pardoned  his  murderer,  and  begged  for  his  pardon 
with  the  most  touching  and  pressing  appeal. 

The  murderer  had  been  arrested  on  the  spot,  and  trans 
ferred  to  the  prison  in  Paris.  There  he  was  abandoned 
by  all,  except  by  the  priest.  Two  or  three  days  after  the 
deed  had  been  committed,  the  priest  went  to  see  the 
trooper  for  the  first  time,  in  the  cell  of  the  military  prison. 
He  encouraged  him  to  hope  in  the  mercy  of  God,  and  to 
prepare  himself  for  a  good  confession,  and  to  accept  death 
in  expiation  for  his  crime.  The  poor  criminal  was  touched 
by  the  words  of  the  priest,  and  said :  "I  have  been  the 
victim  of  a  moment  of  fury  and  insanity.  It  was  a  punish 
ment  from  God,  whom  I  had  abandoned.  Had  I  always 
prayed  as  I  do  now,  I  should  not  have  come  to  this  pass. 
My  father  said  to  me  often :  *  Fear  God,  and  pray  to  him  j 
he  alone  is  good,  all  the  rest  are  nothing  !'  But  it  is  so  hard 
to  do  so  at  the  regiment ;  we  are  always  surrounded  by 
young  men  who  say  nothing  but  what  is  bad."  When  he 
heard  that  he  was  sentenced  to  death,  he  exclaimed : 
"  The  sentence  is  just ;  to  appeal  would  be  going  against 
the  goodness  of  God.  They  would  show  me  a  mercy  that 
I  do  not  wish  for,  because  the  punishment  must  be  under 
gone.  I  must  atone  for  what  I  have  done.  My  hopes  are 
no  longer  here  below  j  I  have  only  God  now  to  look  to. 
He  is  now  everything  to  me ;  in  him  alone  do  I  trust  j  I 
feel  quite  calm :  I  feel  no  rebellion  in  my  heart  j  I  am 
perfectly  resigned  to  the  will  of  God." 


Now,  what  brought  about  that  calmness,  that  happiness, 
in  this  poor  prisoner  ?  It  was  his  sincere  confession,  which 
the  priest  was  kind  enough  to  hear  j  it  was  holy  com 
munion,  which  the  priest  brought  to  him  several  times ; 
in  a  word,  it  was  the  charity  of  the  priest,  who  often  went 
to  see  him  in  his  prison,  in  order  to  console  him,  and  to 
inspire  him  with  great  confidence  in  the  mercy  of  God. 

During  the  three  hours  and  a  half  of  the  drive  to  the 
place  of  execution,  he  never  lost  his  calmness  j  God  was 
with  him  in  the  person  of  the  priest,  who  accompanied  him 
to  the  Savory  Plains,  where  he  was  to  be  shot.  What  a 
touching  spectacle,  to  behold,  on  a  wagon,  a  tall  man, 
the  culprit,  followed  by  the  priest  of  God ;  to  see  how  the 
priest  was  even  paler  than  the  culprit ;  and  to  see  them 
walking  side  by  side,  you  would  think  that  lie  was  the  one 
to  be  shot ! 

The  expression  of  the  culprit's  countenance  was  great 
calmness  and  resignation  ;  his  eyes  betrayed  at  once  sor 
row  and  hope.  He  seemed  to  pray  with  fervor.  There 
was  no  sadness  in  his  looks ;  there  could  even  be  seen  the 
reflection  of  a  certain  inward  joy.  He  listened,  with  love 
and  deep  attention,  to  the  words  addressed  to  him  by  the 
minister  of  Jesus  Christ.  When  the  priest  said  to  him, 
"  Our  Lord  is  between  us  two ;  my  poor  child,  we  are 
always  well  when  the  good  Saviour  is  with  us,"  he 
replied :  "  Oh,  yes,  my  heart  is  perfectly  h^ppy !  I  did 
not  think  I  should  tell  you,  but  I  feel  as  if  I  was  g<iing  to 
a  wedding.  God  has  permitted  all  this  for  my  good,  to 
save  mv  soul.  I  feel  so  much  consoled,  thinking  that  my 
poor  captain  died  a  good  Christian !  I  am  going  to  see 
him  :  he  is  praying  for  me  now.  My  God  has  saved  me  j 
I  feel  that  he  will  have  mercy  on  me.  He  ascended 


Calvary;  carrying  his  cross;  I  accompany  him.  I  shall 
not  resist  whatever  they  wish  to  do  with  me — tie  me,  or 
bandage  my  eyes.  Ah  !  the  poor  soldiers  are  lost  because 
they  do  not  listen  to  you  priests.  Without  you,  without 
religion,  the  whole  world  would  be  lost !" 

When  they  drove  by  the  barracks,  where  he  had  com 
mitted  the  murder,  he  offered  a  prayer  for  his  captain. 
"  I  can't  conceive  how  I  could  have  done  it !  I  had  no  ill- 
will  against  him  !  Could  the  commission  of  a  sin  save  me 
from  being  shot,  I  would  not  do  it :  I  think  so  now.  I 
have  nothing  to  keep  me  here ;  I  am  going  to  see  God !" 

When  they  had  arrived  at  the  place  of  execution,  the 
priest  and  the  culprit  alighted.  An  officer  read  the  sen 
tence.  The  culprit  replied :  "  I  acknowledge  the  justice 
of  my  punishment,  I  am  sorry  for  what  I  have  done,  I 
beg  of  God  to  pardon  me  j  I  love  him  with  all  my  heart !  " 
Then  he  knelt  j  the  priest  gave  him  the  crucifix  to  kiss, 
for  the  last  time.  u  My  father,"  he  said,  with  feeeling 
expression, — "  my  father,  I  place  my  soul  within  vour 
hands ;  I  unite  my  death  with  that  of  my  Saviour,  Jesus. 
Farewell !  farewell !  "  The  priest  embraced  him  once 
more.  Then,  with  his  arms  extended  in  the  form  of  a 
cross,  the  culprit  inclined  his  head,  and  awaited  his  death. 
The  priest  retired  to  pray  at  some  distance.  One  minute 
after,  human  justice  had  been  satisfied,  and  the  soul  of  the 
unfortunate  soldier,  purified  and  transformed  by  religion, 
had  fled  to  the  bosom  of  Him  who  pardons  all  to  those  who 
repent.  The  priest  resumed  his  place  by  him,  and,  with 
tears  in  his  eyes,  prayed,  on  his  knees,  for  the  departed 
soul  of  the  unfortunate  carabineer. 

Go  where  you  will,  through  all  the  miseries  of  this  life, 
and  you  will  find  that  everywhere  the  consoling  angel  of 


God,  the  father  of  the  poor  and  friendless,  is  the  priest  of 
the  Catholic  Church.  He  labors  day  and  night,  without 
boasting,  without  praise,  and  often  without  any  other 
reward,  in  this  life,  than  contempt  and  ingratitude.,  If  a 
dangerous  disease  breaks  out  in  the  parish,  the  priest  does 
not  abandon  the  post  of  danger.  The  Catholic  priest  is  no 
coward,  the  Catholic  priest  is  no  hireling.  Devbted  and 
fearless,  he  remains  to  encourage  his  flock,  to  give  them 
the  last  sacraments,  and,  if  need  be,  even  to  die  with 

A  poor  man  is  dying  in  his  wretched  hovel.  In  the 
midst  of  the  winter's  night  the  priest  hears  a  knock  at  his 
door ;  he  is  told  that  one  of  his  flock  requires  his  assist 
ance.  The  bleak  winter  wind  howls  around  him,  the 
chilling  rain  beats  pitilessly  in  his  face,  yet  he  hurries  on ; 
there  is  a  soul  to  save,  there  is  a  soul  to  aid  in  its  fearful 
death-struggle:  that  makes  him  forget  everything  else. 
At  last  he  enters  the  house  of  death  j  he  enters  the  sick 
man's  room,  though  he  knows  that  the  very  air  of  that 
room  is  loaded  with  pestilence.  He  receives  the  last 
whisper  of  the  dying  man  j  he  breathes  into  his  ear  the 
sweet  words  of  pardon  and  of  psace.  He  bends  oVer  the 
sick  man's  infected  body,  and  breathes  the  tainted  breath 
from  his  impoisoned  lips.  The  priest  is  willing  to  risk  his 
own  life,  provided  he  can  save  the  soul  of  his  fellow-man. 

During  the  Crimean  War,  the  cholera  raged  in  the 
division  of  Herbillon.  The  soldiers  became  restless  j 
they  looked  gloomy,  and  spoke  despondingly,  because  the 
victims  were  many,  and  it  was  not  the  kind  of  death  a 
soldier  likes.  What  troubled  the  soldiers  most,  was  the 
prevailing  thought  that  the  plague  was  communicated  by 
contact :  and  there  was  great  dejection  in  camp.  u  What 

CREED.  321 

shall  we  do.  Monsieur  PAbbe  VJ  said  the  general  to  Father 
Parabere.  "  Those  boys  look  as  if  they  were  frightened." 
"  Oh,  it  is  necessary  to  let  that  fear  know  that  it  has  to 
attack  Frenchmen  and  Christians !  Leave  it  to  me,  general." 
And  the  dauntless  priest  walked  straight  to  the  very  quar 
ters  where  the  pest  raged  most  furiously.  A  poor  soldier  was 
in  the  last  convulsions,  and  in  the  throes  of  his  agony. 
The  heroic  priest  had  still  time  left  to  console  and  to 
absolve  him,  and  then  he  closed  his  eyes.  Then  he  called 
all  the  comrades  of  the  dead  man  around  his  couch,  and 
endeavored  to  persuade  them  that  the  scourge  was  not  con 
tagious  j  but  as  some  of  them  shook  their  heads,  he  added, 
il  You  will  not  believe  me  to-day,  you  shall  to-morrow." 
And  just  think  of  it,  the  brave  priest  lies  down  on  the 
same  couch  with  the  man  dead  of  cholera,  and  prepares 
himself  to  pass  the  night  with  that  novel  bedfellow ! 
Many  hours  passed  away,  and  Pere  Parabere,  who  certainly 
had  worked  enough  during  the  day  to  need  rest,  did  not 
quit  his  post  until  he  was  called  to  prepare  another  man 
for  death.  On  the  morrow,  the  whole  camp  had  heard  of 
it,  and  the  soldiers,  recovering  from  their  fear,  said  to  one 
another,  "  There's  a  man  who  has  no  fear  !  n 

It  is  only  a  few  years  ago  that  a  young  Irish  priest,  then 
in  the  first  year  of  his  mission  in  this  country,  received 
what  to  him  was  literally  the  death-summons.  He  was 
lying  ill  in  bed  when  the  "sick-call"  reached  his  house, 
the  pastor  of  the  district  being  absent.  The  poor  young 
priest  did  not  hesitate  a  moment :  no  matter  what  the  con 
sequence  to  himself  might  be,  the  Catholic  should  not  be 
without  the  consolations  of  religion.  To  the  dismay  of 
those  who  knew  of  his  intention,  and  who  remonstrated  in 
vain  against  what  to  them  appeared  to  be  an  act  of  madness, 

322  THE    NINTH   ARTICLE    OF 

he  started  on  his  journey,  a  distance  of  thirty-six  miles, 
which  he  accomplished  on  foot,  in  the  midst  of  incessant 
rain.  Ah !  who  can  tell  how  often  he  paused  involuntarily 
on  that  terrible  march,  or  how  he  reeled  and  staggered  as 
he  approached  its  termination  ?  Scarcely  had  he  reached 
the  sick  man's  bed,  and  performed  the  functions  of  the 
ministry,  when  he  was  conscious  of  his  own  approaching 
death  5  and  there  being  no  brother  priest  to  minister  to 
him  in  his  last  hour,  he  administered  the  viaticum  to  him 
self,  and  instantly  sank  on  the  floor,  a  corpse. 

How  often  does  not  the  priest  risk  his  health,  his  honor, 
his  life,  and  even  his  immortal  soul,  in  order  to  help  a 
poor  dying  sinner !  How  often  is  not  the  priest  found  on 
the  battle-field,  whilst  the  bullets  are  whistling,  and  the 
shells  are  shrieking  around  him !  How  often  is  he  not 
found  on  his  knees  beside  the  dying  soldier,  hearing  his  last 
confession,  and  whispering  into  his  ear  the  sweet  words  of 
pardon  and  peace  !  How  often  must  not  the  priest  visit 
the  plague-stricken  in  the  hospitals,'  and  in  the  wretched 
hovels  of  the  poor !  How  often  must  he  not  remain,  eVen 
for  hours,  in  a  close  room,  beside  those  infected  with  the 
most  loathsome  diseases  !  When  all  else,  when  friends 
and  relatives,  when  the  nearest  and  dearest  have  aban 
doned  the  poor  dying  wretch,  then  it  is  that  only  the 
priest  of  God  can  be  found  to  assist  him  in  his  last  and 
fearful  struggle. 

Whilst  St.  Charles  Borromeo  was  Bishop  of  Milan,  there 
broke  out  a  fierce  plague  in  that  city.  The  priests  of  the 
city  generously  offered  their  services.  They  entered  the 
houses  of  the  plague-stricken,  they  heard  their  confessions, 
and  administered  to  them  the  last  sacraments.  Neither 
the  loathsome  disease,  nor  the  fear  of  certain  death,  could 


appall  them,  and  they  all  soon  fell  victims  to  their  zeal. 
Death  swept  them  away,  but  their  places  were  filled  by 
other  generous  priests,  who  hastened  from  the  neighboring 
towns,  and,  in  a  short  time,  one  thousand  eight  hundred 
priests  fell  victims  to  their  charity. 

And  not  in  Italy  alone,  in  every  clime  beneath  the 
sun,  the  Catholic  priest  has  proved  the  earnestness  of 
his  charity,  by  the  generous  sacrifice  of  his  life.  I  need 
only  mention  the  sufferings  and  heroism  of  the  Catholic 
priests  of  Ireland,  during  the  long  and  bloody  persecutions 
that  have  afflicted  that  ill-fated  country.  The  Catholic 
priests  of  Ireland  were  outlawed ;  they  were  commanded 
to  quit  the  country  j  the^  were  hunted  down  like  wolves. 
But,  for  all  that,  they  did  not  abandon  their  poor 
suffering  children.  They  laid  aside  their  rich  vest 
ments,  they  laid  aside  their  priestly  dress,  and  disguised 
themselves  in  the  poorest  and  most  humble  attire.  Their 
churches  were  burned  down  and  desecrated ;  but  then 
the  cabins  of  their  persecuted  countrymen  were  opened 
to  them.  And  the  Catholic  priest  shared  in  the  poverty 
and  the  sorrows  of  his  poor  children.  He  followed 
them  into  the  forest  j  he  descended  with  them  into 
the  caves.  Often  in  some  lonely  hut,  in  the  midst  of  a 
dreary  bog,  or  amid  the  wild  fastnesses  of  the  rugged 
mountains,  the  priest  could  be  found  kneeling  at  the  bed 
side  of  a  poor  dying  father  or  mother,  whilst  pale  and 
starving  children  were  weeping  around.  There  you 
could  find  the  Catholic  priest  hearing  the  last  confession 
of  that  poor  soul,  aiding  her  in  her  death-struggle,  and 
reciting  the  touching  prayers  of  the  Church,  by  the  dim 
flickering  of  a  poor  rushlight.  The  Catholic  priest  did 
not  abandon  his  poor,  persecuted  flock,  even  though  he 

324  THE    NINTH   ARTICLE    OP 

knew  that  a  price  was  set  on  his  head,  though  he  knew 
that  spies  and  informers  were  in  search  of  him,  though 
he  knew  that  well-trained  blood-hounds  were  sent  out  to 
track  him.  The  Catholic  priest  did  not  forsake  his 
children,  though  he  knew  that  if  he  were  taken  the  rack 
and  the  gibbet  awaited  him.  He  suffered  not  only  poverty 
and  sorrows  with  his  poor  flock,  but  he  often  underwent 
the  most  cruel  death  ;  for,  whenever  a  priest  was  found  in 
the  country,  the  tender  mercy  of  the  tyrant  had  decreed 
that  he  was  to  be  hanged,  drawn  and  quartered. 

Would  to  God  I  could  take  you  to  the  Martyr's  Room 
in  Paris,  where  priests,  loving  their  God  and  their  neigh 
bors,  are  incessantly  preparing  themselves  to  go  to  preach 
the  Gospel,  suffer  and  die  for  the  faith,  among  the  Pagans  ! 
Would  to  God  you  could  see  there  that  sacred  army, 
filled  with  generous  soldiers  of  Jesus  Christ,  who  aspire  to 
the  pacific  conquest  of  infidel  realms ;  who  burn  with  the 
hopes  of  shedding  their  blood  on  the  battle-fields  of  faith, 
sacrifice,  and  martyrdom  ;  who  very  often  attain,  after  a 
life  of  labors,  toils,  and  torments,  the  ensanguined  crown, 
which  has  been  the  goal  of  their  life-long  aspirations !  t 

When  they  have  attained  it,  when  their  heads  have  fallen 
under  a  Pagan's  sword,  their  vestments,  their  hallowed 
bones,  the  instruments  of  their  martyrdom,  are  reverently 
gathered  by  the  Christians  of  the  lands  where  they  have 
been  martyred,  and  sent  to  Paris ;  and  the  hall  where  all 
these  precious  relics  are  gathered  is  called  the  Martyr's 
Room.  The  sight  alone  of  this  sanctuary,  fresh  with  the 
blood  of  those  lovers  of  Jesus  Christ,  is  the  most  eloquent  ot 
sermons  on  the  priest's  charity  toward  the  people.  Bones 
and  skeletons,  and  skulls  of  martyred  priests,  enclosed  in 
glass  cases  j  instruments  of  martyrdom  j  paintings  repre- 


senting  insufferable  torments  5  iron  chains  which  tortured 
the  limbs  of  the  confessors  of  faith  ;  ropes  which  strangled 
them  ;  crucifixes  crimsoned  with  the  blood  of  those  who 
impressed  on  them  their  last  kiss  of  love ;  garments,  en 
sanguined  linen  : — oh  !  what  a  sight !  Great  God,  what  a 
lesson ! 

Here  a  huge  cangue,  which  rested  for  six  long  months 
on  the  shoulders  of  Bishop  Borie  j  there  a  mat  clogged 
with  the  blood  of  John  Baptist  Cornay,  who  upon  it  was 
beheaded  and  quartered,  like  the  animal  that  is  butchered. 
Near  by,  a  painting  describing  the  horrible  torment  of 
the  blessed  Marchant,  whom  the  executioners  chopped  all 
alive,  from  head  to  foot,  until  he  died  of  suffering  and 
exhaustion  ;  everywhere,  in  every  corner,  the  image  of  the 
good  priest  dying  for  the  love  of  God  and  of  his  brethren, 
and  of  the  fiend  in  human  shape  crucifying,  with  an  in 
defatigable  hatred,  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  in  the  person  of 
his  priests. 

If  you  wish  to  know  what  the  Catholic  priest  has  done, 
go  ask  the  winds,  that  have  heard  his  sighs  and  his 
prayers ;  ask  the  earth,  that  has  drunk  in  his  tears  and 
his  blood  ;  go  ask  the  ocean,  that  has  witnessed  his  death- 
struggle,  whilst  speeding  on  an  errand  of  mercy  !  Go  to 
the  dreary  shores  of  the  icy  North,  go  to  the  burning  sands 
of  the  distant  South,  and  the  bleached  and  scattered  bones 
of  the  Catholic  priest  will  tell  you  how  earnestly  he  has 
labored  for  the  welfare  of  his  fellow-men. 

If  the  many  happy  souls  that  have  died  in  the  arms, 
died  with  the  blessing,  of  the  priest,  could  appear  before 
you  at  this  moment,  they  would  describe  to  you,  in  glow 
ing  language,  the  great  benefits  they  have  derived  from 
the  Catholic  priest.  They  would  say  to  you  :  "  We  were 


weak  and  helpless,  but  the  consoling  words  of  the  priest 
gave  us  strength.  We  trembled  at  the  thought  of  God's 
judgments,  but  the  blessing  and  absolution  of  the  priest 
gave  us  a  supernatural  courage.  We  were  tormented  by 
the  assaults  of  the  devil,  but  the  power  of  the  priest  put 
the  Evil  One  to  flight.  We  were  heart-broken  at  the 
thought  of  bidding  a  long  farewell  to  wife  and  children, 
to  the  nearest  and  dearest,  but  the  priest  turned  our 
weeping  eyes  toward  a  happier  home,  where  there  is  no 
parting,  -no  weeping,  no  mourning,  any  more  !  And  even 
when  our  soul  had  left  the  body,  when  our  friends  were 
shedding  fruitless  tears  over  the  cold  corpse,  even  then  the 
priest  of  God  still  followed  us  with  his  prayers  ;  he  com 
mended  us  to  the  mercy  of  God  ;  he  called  upon  the  angels 
and  saints  to  come  to  our  aid,  to  present  us  before  the  throne 
of  God.  Ah  !  now  we  understand,  indeed,  that  whose 
soever  sins  the  priest  forgives  on  earth,  they  are  truly  for 
given  them  in  heaven." 

The  priest  has  enemies.  He  knows  it,  but  he  does  not 
complain.  The  world,  too,  hated  and  persecuted  his 
divine  Master.  But  the  priest  opens  his  lips  only  to  pray 
for  them;  he  raises  his  hand  only  to  bless  them.  He 
remembers  the  words  of  Jesus :  u  I  say  to  you,  love 
your  enemies,  do  good  to  those  that  hate  you,  bless  those 
that  curse  you,  and  pray  for  those  that  persecute  and  calum 
niate  you;"  and,  like  his  divine  Master,  the  priest  says  : 
"  Father,  forgive  them." 

During  the  French  Revolution,  a  wicked  monster  who 
had  often  dyed  his  hands  in  the  blood  of  priests,  fell  dan 
gerously  ill.  He  had  sworn  that  no  priest  should  ever 
set  his  foot  in  his  house,  and  that,  if  any  dared  to  enter, 
he  should  never  leave  it  alive.  A  priest  heard  of  his  illness  j 

CREED.  327 

lie  heard,  too,  of  the  impious  vow  he  had  made.  But  he 
heeded  it  not.  The  good  shepherd  must  be  ready  to  lay 
down  his  life  for  his  sheep.  As  soon  as  this  wicked  monster 
saw  the  priest  standing  before  him,  he  flew  into  a  rage  : 
tl  What  !  "  cried  he,  a  a  priest  in  my  house  !  Bring  me 
my  pistols."  Then  the  dying  ruffian  raised  his  brawny  arm, 
and  shook  it  threateningly  at  the  priest.  "  See  !"  he  cried, 
with  a  horrible  oath,  "  this  arm  has  murdered  twelve  of 
such  as  you." 

"  Not  so,  my  good  friend,"  answerd  the  priest,  calmly, 
"you  murdered  only  eleven.  The  twelfth  now  stands 
before  you."  Then  baring  his  breast,  he  said  :  tl  See  here, 
on  my  breast,  the  marks  of  your  fury  !  See  here  the  scars 
that  your  hand  has  made !  God  has  preserved  my  life, 
that  I  might  save  your  soul."  With  these  words  the  priest 
threw  his  arms  around  the  neck  of  the  dying  murderer, 
and,  with  tears  in  his  eyes,  conjured  him,  by  the  precious 
blood  of  Jesus  Christ,  to  have  pity  on  his  poor  soul,  and 
make  his  peace  with  God. 

Such  is  the  Catholic  priest.  I  tell  the  truth  when  I  say 
that  he  is  indeed  an  angel  of  God,  with  the  heart  of  a  man  j 
and  this  angel  of  the  Lord  is  found  in  the  Roman  Catholic 
Church  alone. 

0  glorious  Church  of  Rome  !  whence  Peter  will  forever 
strengthen  his  brethren !  In  thee  there  is  neither  Greek, 
nor  Barbarian,  nor  Scythian,  nor  Jew,  nor  Gentile  ;  in  thy 
bosom  all  are  as  one  people.  Thou  art  the  mighty  tree 
which  has  been  planted  by  the  hand  of  Jesus  Christ. 
Every  branch  which  is  separated  from  that  tree  fades, 
withers,  dies,  and  is  thrown  into  the  fire.  Thou  art  a  most 
tender  mother.  Whence  is  it  that  thy  divine  authority 
should  give  such  vain  offence  to  so  many  unnatural  chil- 


dren,  make  them  rise  up  against  thee,  and  see  in  tliee  but 
a  stepmother  ?  Thou  art  the  great  city  of  refuge.  In 
thee  alone  are  found  true  comfort,  strength,  and  peace  of 
heart.  Out  of  thee  there  is  nothing  but  anguish  and 
black  despair. 

In  this  Church,  where  dwells  the  hidden  God  of  love, 
The  good,  and  pure,  and  true  die  never; 
On  high  they  reign  with  God  forever ! 

God  speed  the  day  when  all  division  in  religion  shall 
end !  God  speed  the  hour  when  all  men  shall  be  united  in 
this  one,  true,  enduring  fold  ;  when  the  sceptre  of  the 
Roman  Catholic  Church  shall  be  extended  benignly  over 
an  obedient  and  rejoicing  world ;  and  when  all,  upon  be 
ing  asked,  "  What  do  we  believe  when  we  say,  I  believe 
the  holy  Catholic  Church?"  will  unanimously  answer : 
"  We  believe  that  the  holy  Catholic  Church  alone  is  the 
true  Church  of  Christ ;  that  she  is  infallible  in  her  teaching, 
and  endless  in  her  duration  j  and  that  out  of  the  Catholic 
Church  there  is  no  salvation  "  1 



HOLT  Scripture  tells  us  that,  when  the  holy  man  Tobias 
considered  the  great  benefits  which  God  had  bestowed 
upon  his  family  through  the  angel  Raphael,  he  was  seized 
with  fear  j  he  was  at  a  loss  how  to  express  his  gratitude  j 
he  and  his  family  fell  prostrate  upon  their  faces  for  three 
hours,  thanking  and  blessing  the  Lord.  He  called  his 
son  Tobias,  and  said  to  him :  "  What  can  we  give  to  this 
holy  man  that  is  come  with  thee  ? "  And  the  young 
Tobias  said  to  his  father:  "Father,  what  wages  shall  we 
give  him,  or  what  can  be  worthy  of  his  benefits  ?  He 
conducted  me,  and  brought  'me  safe  again ;  he  received 
the  money  of  Gabelus,  he  caused  me  to  have  my  wife, 
and  he  chased  from  her  the  evil  spirit ;  he  gave  joy  to  her 
parents,  myself  he  delivered  from  being  devoured  by  the 
fish  j  thee  also  he  hath  made  to  see  the  light  of  heaven,  and 
we  are  filled  with  all  good  things  through  him.  What 
can  we  give  him  sufficient  for  these  things  ?  But  I 
beseech  thee,  my  father,  to  desire  him  that  he  would 
vouchsafe  to  accept  of  half  of  all  the  things  that  have 
been  brought."  (Tobias,  xii.)  It  is  thus  that  this  holy 
family  showed  themselves  thankful  to  God  and  his  holy 
angel  for  the  divine  blessings. 

Now  you  have  seen  that  the  priest  is,  for  you,  the  true 
angel  of  God  j  you  have  seen  that  his  dignity  is  far  more 


sublime  than  that  of  the  angel  Kaphael  ;  you  have  seen 
tha-t  the  priest's  powers  far  surpass  those  of  all  the  angels 
of  heaven ;  that  his  offices  are  of  greater  importance  to 
you  than  those  of  the  angels :  that  the  benefits  which 
God  bestows  upon  you,  through  the  hands  of  the  priest, 
far  surpass  those  which  he  bsstows  through  his  holy 
angels ;  you  have  seen  that  the  Catholic  priest  lives  not; 
for  himself,  but  exclusively  for  you  j  that  he  is  invested 
with  the  most  extraordinary  powers,  not  for  his  benefit, 
but  for  yours ;  in  a  word,  you  have  seen  that  God  has 
given  you,  in  the  priest,  all  the  goods  and  blessings  of 
heaven  and  earth.  What  fitting  thanks  can  you,  then, 
offer  to  the  Almighty  ?  Ah  !  if  the  Lord  had  only  once 
shown  you  but  one  single  mark  of  affection,  even  then 
you  would  be  under  infinite  obligations  to  him,  and  he 
would  deserve  an  infinite  thanksgiving  from  you;  inas 
much  as  that  affection  is  the  gift  and  favor  of  an  infinite 
God.  But  since  you  daily  receive,  through  the  priest, 
blessings  of  God,  infinite  in  number  and  greatness,  what 
should  then  be  your  thanksgivings  to  God  and  his  angel, 
the  priest  ?  With  Tobias  you  should  say  :  "  What  shall 
we  give  to  this  holy  man  ?  What  can  be  worthy  of  his 
benefits?'-'  Were  you,  in  imitation  of  Tobias,  to  offer 
to  God  and  his  priest  one-half  of  all  your  goods,  it  would 
be  a  poor  return  for  the  divine  blessings.  Believe  me, 
you  will  never  be  able,  in  this  world,  fully  to  understand 
what  God  has  given  to  you  in  the  priest,  and  what  you 
should  be  to  the  priest ;  you  will  understand  it  only  in  the 
world  to  come.  But  let  me  beseech  you  to  believe,  at 
least,  what  you  cannot  understand.  And  if  you  live  up 
to  this  belief,  you  will  listen  to  our  Lord  when  he  speaks 
of  the  priest,  and  says  :  "  He  that  receiveth  you  receiveth 


me  ;  and  he  that  receiveth  me  receiveth  him  that  sent  me." 
(Matt,  x,  41.)  Our  divine  Saviour  spoke  these  words  to 
his  apostles,  and  to  all  his  priests  in  general,  to  encourage 
them  in  establishing  on  earth  his  kingdom,  the  Catholic 
Church.  You  know  very  well  that,  in  order  to  establish, 
and  keep  established,  the  holy  Church,  the  priests  have  to 
announce  the  Gospel  truths  ;  they  have  to  administer  the 
sacraments.  But  this  is  not  enough :  they  have  also  to 
build  churches,  or  keep  the  old  ones,  and  everything  that 
belongs  to  them,  in  good  condition  and  repair  j  they  have 
to  erect  and  to  support  Catholic  schools,  hospitals,  and 
orphan  asylums.  They  are  the  ministers  of  God,  and,  as 
such,  they  are  charged  with  the  honor  of  his  worship,  and 
the  care  of  his  sacred  temples.  They  are,  moreover,  the 
almoners  of  the  poor,  and  the  fathers  of  the  needy. 
How,  think  you,  can  poor  priests  meet  all  the  expenses 
that  they  must  necessarily  incur  in  the  exercise  of  the 
sacred  ministry  1  Only  put  yourselves  a  day  or  two  in 
the  place  of  your  priests ;  take  care  of  all  the  poor  of 
the  place  ;  assist  all  the  needy  that  come  to  your  door,  or 
that  modestly  hide  their  poverty  from  every  one  but  the 
priest  of  God.  Try  to  support  Catholic  schools,  colleges, 
hospitals,  orphan  asylums.  Build  new  churches,  or  keep 
old  ones  in  good  condition.  Do  all  this,  and  more,  and  you 
will  find  out  what  the  difficulties  and  crosses,  the  troubles 
and  hardships,  of  the  priests  are  in  this  country.  You 
will  find  out  that  it  requires  heroic  virtue,  angelic 
patience,  and  superhuman  courage  in  the  priests,  to 
comply  with  their  duties  toward  God  and  men. 

Jesus  Christ  knew  full  well  all  the  difficulties  which  his 
poor  priests  had  to  encounter.  But  he  encourages  them  ; 
he  says  to  them :  "  He  that  receiveth  you  receiveth  me  j  and 

332          A  WORD  TO  EVERY  CATHOLIC. 

he  that  receiveth  me  receiveth  him  that  sent  me.  He  that 
receiveth  a  prophet n  (a  priest)  "  shall  receive  the  reward 
of  a  prophet "  (of  a  priest).  Jesus  Christ  made  the  salva 
tion  of  the  people  dependent  on  the  priest,  and  he  made, 
also,  the  priest  dependent  on  the  people  for  his  support,  and 
other  expenses  which  he  has  to  incur  in  the  exercise  of 
the  sacred  ministry.  It  is  by  this  mutual  dependence 
that  our  divine  Saviour  keeps  the  priests  united  with  the 
people.  The  devil,  the  cursed  spirit  of  discord,  has  often 
tried  to  break  up  this  sacred  union  between  Catholic 
nations  and  their  clergy.  He  has  succeeded  in  many 
countries  by  means  of  Protestant  governments,  but  he 
never  could  succeed  in  one  country, — in  the  country  of 
the  glorious  St.  Patrick,  in  Ireland.  There  the  govern 
ment  of  England  offered,  some  years  ago,  to  support  the 
Catholic  clergy.  Had  this  offer  been  accepted,  the  Cath 
olic  priests  of  Ireland  would  have  become  dependent  on 
the  English  government ;  and  that  close  union  and  warm 
love,  that  deep-rooted  respect  and  esteem,  which,  for  so 
many  centuries,  have  existed  between  the  Irish  Catholics 
and  their  priests,  would  soon  have  fallen  a  prey  to  the 
devilish  trick  of  the  government.  But,  thanks  be  to  God, 
and  to  the  foresight  and  wisdom  of  the  Irish  clergy !  the 
devil  and  his  colleague,  the  English  government,  met,  in 
this  instance,  as  in  many  others,  with  a  cold  reception — 
with  a  flat  refusal. 

Jesus  Christ  has  given  to  his  priests  ever  so  many 
reasons  to  keep  up  mutual  love  between  themselves  and 
the  people.  Priests,  no  doubt,  will  do  all  in  their  power 
to  establish  and  to  preserve  this  love.  But  Jesus  Christ 
wishes  also  that  the  people  should  preserve  this  mutual 
love  between  themselves  and  the  clergy.  To  obtain  this 

A   WORD   TO   EVERT   CATHOLIC.  33,3 

object,  they  are  commanded  to  support  and  assist  the 
clergy  •  but  in  order  to  make  them  observe  this  command 
ment  joyfully,  Jesus  Christ  holds  out  to  the  people  a  most 
powerful  inducement.  He  says  to  every  Catholic :  "If 
you  receive  my  priest,  you  receive  me  j  and  by  receiving 
me,  you  receive  my  heavenly  Father."  In  other  words, 
Jesus  Christ  says  that,  by  supporting  and  assisting  the 
priests,  you  support  and  assist  your  divine  Saviour  himself, 
who  looks  upon  all  the  difficulties  of  his  priests  as  his  own, 
because  they  are  his  representatives  on  earth. 

Moreover,  in  order  to  make  Catholics  cling  to  their 
priests,  and  keep  them  closely  united  with  them,  Jesus 
Christ  promises  them  an  immense  reward.  He  says  :  "  He 
that  receiveth  a  prophet "  (a  priest)  "  shall  receive  the 
reward  of  a  prophet.'7  Our  divine  Saviour  has  attached 
great  blessings  to  the  charity  which  is  shown  to  the  least 
of  his  brethren  on  earth :  "Amen  I  say  to  you,  as  long  as 
you  did  it  to  one  of  these,  my  least  brethren,  you  did  it  to 
me.'7  (Matt,  xxv,  40.)  By  saying,  "  To  the  least  of  these, 
my  brethren,77  Jesus  Christ  gives  us  to  understand  that 
there  is  another  class  of  his  brethren  who  are  great  in  his 
sight,  and  whom  he  loves  most  tenderly.  Now,  if  God 
bestows  such  great  blessings  upon  those  who  are  charitable 
to  the  least  of  the  brethren  of  Jesus  Christ,  how  much  more 
abundantly  will  he  not  bestow  his  blessings  upon  those  who 
are  charitable  to  his  great  friends  !  The  Holy  Ghost  calls 
our  particular  attention  to  this  great  truth  when  he  says,  in- 
holy  Scripture  :  "  If  thou  do  good,  know  to  whom  thou 
doest  it,  and  there  shall  be  much  thanks  for  thy  good 
deeds.  Do  good  to  the  just,  and  thou  shalt  find  great 
recompense ;  and  if  not  of  him,  assuredly  of  the  Lord.7' 
(Ecclus.  xii,  1,  2.)  To  the  just,  especially  to  those  who 

334         A  WORD  TO  EVERY  CATHOLIC. 

are  eminently  just,  may  be  applied  what  the  angel  of 
the  Lord  said  of  John  the  Baptist,  namely,  that  "  he  was 
great  before  God."  (Luke  i,  15.)  The  reason  of  this  is, 
because  Jesus  Christ  lives  in  the  just  by  his  grace  :  "I 
live,  now  not  I,"  says  St.  Paul,  "  but  Christ  liveth  in  me." 
(Gal.  ii,  20.)  Hence,  whatever  is  given  to  a  just  man,  is 
given  to  Christ  himself  in  a  more  special  manner.  To 
show  this  in  reality,  Christ  has  often  appsaredin  the  form 
and  clothing  of  a  poor  man,  and  as  such  begged  and 
received  alms.  This  happened  to  John  the  Deacon,  as  is 
related  in  his  life  by  St.  Gregory.  The  same  saint  relates 
also  (Horn.  39,  in  Evang.)  that  Jesus  Christ,  in  the  form 
of  a  leper,  appeared  to  a  certain  charitable  monk,  named 
Marty rius,  who  carried  him  on  his  shoulders.  The  same 
happened  to  St.  Christopher,  and  also  to  St.  Martin,  Bishop 
of  Tours.  When  St.  Martin  was  still  a  s6ldier,  and 
receiving  instruction  for  admission  into  the  Catholic  Church, 
he  gave  one-half  of  his  mantle  to  a  poor  man  j  the  follow 
ing  night  Jesus  Christ  appeared  to  him,  wearing  this 
mantle,  and  said  to  the  angels  who  surrounded  him : 
"  Behold  !  this  is  Martin  who  gave  me  this  mantle  !" 

Once  St.  Catharine  of  Sienna  gave  to  a  poor  beggar 
the  silver  cross  she  wore,  having  nothing  else  about  her 
to  give.  During  the  night  Christ  appeared  to  her,  and 
said  that,  on  the  day  of  judgment,  he  would  show  that 
cross  to  the  whole  world  in  proof  of  her  charity.  God, 
then,  rewards  liberally  those  who  are  charitable  to  the 
least  of  his  brethren  ;  but  he  rewards  far  more  liberally  all 
those  who  are  charitable  to  his  friends, — to  the  just :  "  He 
that  receiveth  a  just  man,"  says  Jesus  Christ,  u  in  the 
name  of  a  just  man  (that  is,  because  he  is  a  just  man,  a 
friend  of  God),  shall  receive  the  reward  of  a  just  man.'7 

A  WORD  TO  EVERY  CATHOLIC.          335 

But  what  will  be  the  reward  of  all  those  who  liberally 
and  joyfully  support  and  aid  the  priests, — the  ministers  arid 
true  representatives  of  God, — through  whose  ministry  men 
are  made  just  and  holy  ?  To  understand  this,  I  must  make 
here  a  very  important  remark,  to  which  I  call  your  special 
attention,  namely  :  that  there  are  degrees  in  this  well-do 
ing.  The  more  just  a  man  is,  both  for  himself  and  others  5 
the  more  souls  he  leads  to  justice,  to  holiness  of  life,  the 
greater  will  be  his  reward,  and  consequently  the  greater, 
also,  will  be  the  reward  of  him  who  assists  such  a  just  man  : 
"  They  that  instruct  many  to  justice,  shall  shine  as  stars 
for  all  eternity.'7  (Dan.  xii,  3.)  To  whom  can  these  words 
of  holy  Scripture  be  applied  more  truly  than  to  fervent 
pastors  of  souls  and  missionary  priests  ?  They  devote 
their  whole  life  to  the  salvation  of  souls.  Now,  there  is ' 
nothing  more  pleasing  in  the  sight  of  God  than  laboring 
for  the  salvation  of  souls  :  "  We  cannot  offer  any  sacrifice 
to  God,"  says  St.  Gregory,  "  which  is  equal  to  that  of  the 
zeal  for  the  salvation  of  souls."  "  This  zeal  and  labor 
for  the  salvation  of  men,"  says  St.  John  Chrysostom,  "  is 
of  so  great  a  merit  before  God,  that  to  give  up  all  our 
goods  to  the  poor,  or  to  spend  our  whole  life  in  the  exercise 
of  all  sorts  of  austerities,  cannot  equal  the  merit  of  this 
labor.  This  merit  of  laboring  in  the  vineyard  of  the  Lord 
is  something  far  greater  than  the  working  of  miracles.  To 
be  employed  in  this  blessed  labor  is  even  more  pleasing 
to  the  Divine  Majesty  than  to  suffer  martydom."  If,  then, 
in  the  opinion  of  the  Fathers  of  the  Church,  and  of  all  the 
saints,  there  can  be  no  greater  honor  and  no  greater  merit 
than  that  of  working  for  the  salvation  of  souls,  we  must 
also  say  that  there  can  be  no  work  of  corporal  mercy  more 
honorable  and  more  meritorious  than  that  of  giving  chari- 

336  A   WORD    TO    EVERY   CATHOLIC. 

table  aid  to  the  pastors  of  souls,  to  missionary  priests,  and 
to  persons  consecrated  to  God.  To  such  as  give  this  aid 
may  be  applied  the  words  of  the  prophet :  "  They  shall 
shine  as  stars  for  all  eternity."  "  The  charity  which  you 
bestow,"  says  Aristotle  (Ethic.,  lib.  i,  c.  3),  "will  be  so 
much  the  more  divine,  the  more  it  tends  to  the  common 
welfare."  But  what  kind  of  charity  is  tending  more  to  the 
common  welfare  than  that  which  is  bestowed  upon  such 
apostolic  laborers  as  spend  their  life  exclusively  in  labor 
ing  for  the  salvation  of  souls  ?  Now  this  charity  is  divine 
in  a  most  eminent  degree,  and  consequently  it  makes  all 
those  divine  who  bestow  it.  They  shall,  without  doubt, 
shine  as  the  stars,  nay,  even  as  the  sun,  throughout  all 
eternity  :  "  Then  the  just  shall  shine  as  the  sun  in  the 
kingdom  of  their  Father  "  (Matt,  xiii,  43)  j  and  this  glory 
and  happiness  of  theirs  in  heaven  will  be  in  proportion  to 
the  zeal  and  fervor  with  which  they  have  continued  to 
furnish  charitable  aid  to  Jesus  Christ  in  the  persons  of  the 
ministers  of  the  holy  Catholic  Church  :  "  He  that  receiveth 
a  prophet,  shall  have  the  reward  of  a  prophet."  He 
who  receives  a  prophet,  says  our  Lord,  that  is,  he  who 
gives  charitable  aid  to  a  priest,  will  receive  the  reward  of 
a  priest.  The  reason  of  this  is,  because,  by  his  charitable 
aid,  he  contributes  toward  the  spreading  of  the  Gospel  j 
and  therefore,  as  he  thus  shares  in  the  labor  and  in  the 
merits  of  the  Gospel,  he  must  also  share  in  the  reward 
promised  to  the  true  minister  of  God.  Should  you  aid  a 
man  in  performing  sinful  actions,  you  would  become  ac 
cessory  to  his  sins.  So,  in  like  manner,  by  assisting  the 
priests  of  God  in  performing  good  works  for  the  salvation 
and  sanctification  of  souls,  you  share  in  all  their  good  works 
— in  their  merits  and  in  their  rewards.  "  A  willow-tree," 

A  WORD  TO  EVERT  CATHOLIC.         337 

says  St.  Gregory,  "  bears  no  fruit  j  but  supporting,  as  it 
does,  the  vine  together  with  its  grapes,  it  makes  these  its 
own,  by  sustaining  what  is  not  its  own."  (Horn.  20,  in 
Evang.)  In  like  manner,  he  who  supports  the  priest  makes 
his  own  all  those  good  works  which  are  performed  by  the 
priest  j  that  is  to  say,  he  preaches  through  the  priest,  he 
hears  confessions  through  him,  he  converts  sinners  through 
him,  he  consoles  the  sick  through  him,  he  encourages  the 
desperate  through  him,  he  confirms  the  just  in  their  good 
resolutions  through  him ;  in  a  word,  he  sanctifies  the 
world  through  the  priest,  and  is,  through  him,  the  cause 
that  the  most  precious  blood  of  Jesus  Christ  is  not  shed  in 
vain  ;  and  he  gladdens,  through  him,  the  angels  and  saints 
in  heaven,  and  especially  the  Sacred  Hearts  of  Jesus  Christ 
and  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary. 

On  this  account,  St.  Ignatius,  in  his  Epistle  to  the 
Smyrnians,  rightly  concludes,  from  the  above  sentence  of 
Christ  on  the  last  day,  that  he  who  honors  a  prisoner  of 
Christ  will  receive  the  reward  of  the  martyrs  j  because 
by  honoring  such  a  prisoner,  he  encourages  him  to  suffei 
martyrdom.  For  this  reason,  many  Christians  formerly 
merited  the  grace  of  martyrdom,  because  they  encouraged, 
fed,  served,  and  buried  the  martyrs.  In  like  manner,  we 
lawfully  infer,  from  the  above  sentence  of  Christ,  that 
those  who  receive  and  aid  the  priests  of  the  Church,  the 
pastors  of  souls,  will  receive  the  reward  of  pastors  of  souls, 
on  condition,  however,  that  the  assistance  which  they  give 
is  offered  with  a  cheerful  heart.  When  God,  in  his  bounty, 
vouchsafes  to  call  you  to  cooperate  in  any  of  his  works, 
he  does  not  employ  soldiers,  or  taxgatherers,  or  con 
stables,  to  collect  the  impost — he  accepts  from  you  only 
a  voluntary  assistance.  The  Master  of  the  universe 


repudiates  constraint,  for  lie  is  the  God  of  free  souls ;  he 
does  not  consent  to  receive  anything  which  is  not  spon 
taneous,  and  offered  with  a  cheerful  heart.  • 

To  conclude.  The  Catholic  priest  is  the  priest  of  the 
Lord  of  heaven  and  earth :  it  is  impossible  for  you  to 
conceive  a  higher  dignity.  The  Catholic  priest  is  the 
plenipotentiary  of  God  :  it  is  impossible  for  you  to  conceive 
a  greater  power.  The  Catholic  priest  is  the  minister  of 
God :  it  is  impossible  for  you  to  conceive  an  office  more 
sublime  and  more  important.  The  Catholic  priest  is  the 
representative  of  God  :  it  is  impossible  for  you  to  conceive 
a  higher  commission.  The  Catholic  priest  is  the  vicegerent 
of  God :  it  is  impossible  for  you  to  conceive  a  higher 
merit.  The  Catholic  priest  is  the  treasurer  of  God  :  it  is 
impossible  for  you  to  conceive  a  greater  benefactor  of  man 
kind,  a  man  worthier  of  your  love  and  veneration,  of  your 
charity  and  liberality. 

May  you,  therefore,  always  receive  the  priest  as  the 
Galatians  received  St.  Paul  the  Apostle :  "  You  despised 
me  not,"  writes  this  great  apostle  to  the  Galatians,  "  you  did 
not  reject  me,  but  you  received  me  as  an  angel  of  God, 
even  as  Christ  Jesus.  I  bear  you  witness  that,  if  it  could  be 
done,  you  would  have  plucked  out  your  own  eyes,  and 
would  have  given  them  to  me."  (Gal.  iv?  14,  15.) 




The  First  Enemy:  Heathenism       ....-«-  1 


The  Second  Enemy:  Heresy        ..».'...-  12 


The  Third  Enemy:  Freemasonry    -••---.  16 

§  1.  The  Object  of  Freemasonry-       ...«.»  16 
§  2.  Lies  of  Freemasons         .....•••22 

§  3.  Ceremonies  of  one  of  the  Degrees  of  Masonry     -  33 

§  4.  Another  Specimen  of  Masonic  Oath               -       •       •       -  65 

§  5.  How  the  Oath  is  administered      ------  68 

§  6.  The  Obligations  of  the  Masonic  Oath      -----  68 

§  7.  Address  to  the  People  of  the  State  of  New  York  101 

§  8.  Resolutions  passed  by  the  Antimasonic  Convention      -       -  115 
^  9.  Proceedings    of  the  Adjourned  Convention    of  Seceding 

Masons    ----------  117 

§  10.  The  Prolific  Mother  of  Freemasons:  Protestantism      -       -  122 

§  11.  The  Masonic  Hammer        .......  129 

§  12.  Two  Classes  of  Masons  -.---.       -       -  136 

§  13.  Success  of  the  Masonic  Hammer                        •       •       •  140 

§  14.  Secret  Societies  excommunicated  by  the  Church  -       •       -  163 

§  15.  The  Church  cannot  be  destroyed                                •       •  168 
§  16.  The  Church  cannot  be,  destroyed.  (Continued.)  •       •       •_  183 


How  the  Persecutors  of  the  Church  die    k  -       -       -       •       •  195 



THE  story  is  told  of  a  Western-bound  train,  flying  along 
with  lightning  speed :  the  time  was  shortly  after  sunset. 
Suddenly  a  crash  was  heard  :  the  train  stopped.  u  What 
is  the  matter?"  the  passengers  asked  one  another.  A 
huge  owl,  dazzled  by  the  glare,  had  struck  against  the 
reflector  in  front  of  the  engine,  shivered  the  glass,  and 
tried  to  extinguish  the  light,  and  a  great  bull  had  set  its 
head  against  the  engine,  to  stop  the  train.  The  lamp 
was  rekindled,  the  engine  sped  on,  but  the  stupid  owl  and 
the  obstinate  bull  were  cast  aside,  dead,  and  left  to  rot, 
and  be  devoured  by  wild  beasts.  An  Irishman,  on  seeing 
them,  exclaimed:  UI  admire  your  courage,  but  condemn 
your  judgment." 

This  train  may  be  likened  to  the  holy  Catholic  Church, 
speeding  on,  on  her  heaven-sent  mission,  to  lead  men  to 
heaven  by  the  light  of  her  holy  doctrine.  The  foolish 
owl,  the  enemy  of  light  and  the  friend  of  darkness,  repre 
sents  Lucifer,  who,  as  the  foe  of  God,  and  of  the  light  of 
God's  holy  religion,  has  always  been  endeavoring  to 
extinguish  the  light  of  the  true  religion.  The  bull  re 
presents  the  kings  and  emperors,  the  heretics  and  members 
of  secret  societies,  whom  Lucifer  uses  to  stop?  if  possible, 

y  THE   FIRST   ENEMY    OF    THE    CHUECH ! 

the  progress  of  the  ^Catholic  Church,  the  bearer  of  the 
light  of  faith.  Although  it  is  hard,  in  a  certain  sense,  not 
to  admire  the  courage  of  Lucifer's  agents,  yet  we  .cannot 
but  condemn  their  judgment,  their  folly  and  wickedness, 
in  opposing  the  work  of  God,  and  bringing  down  upo^i 
themselves  the  everlasting  curse  of  the  Almighty. 

Satan  has,  indeed,  been  engaged,  from  the  beginning  of 
the  world,  in  doing  all  in  his  power  to  entice  men  away 
from  God,  and  to  be  himself  worshipped,  instead  of  the 
Creator.  The  introduction,  establishment,  persistence, 
and  power  of  the  various  cruel,  revolting  superstitions  of 
the  ancient  heathen  world,  or  of  pagan  nations  in  modern 
times,  are  nothing  but  the  work  of  the  deVil.  They  reveal 
a  more  than  human  power.  God  permitted  Satan  to 
operate  upon  man's  morbid  nature,  as  a  deserved  punish 
ment  upon  the  Gentiles  for  their  hatred  of  truth,  and  their 
apostasy  from  the  primitive  religion  of  the  holy  patriarchs 
and  prophets.  Men,  left  to  themselves,  to  human  nature 
alone,  however  low  they  might  be  prone  to  descend,  never 
could  descend  so  low  as  to  worship  wood  and  stone,  four- 
footed  beasts,  and  creeping  things.  To  do  this  needs 
Satanic  delusion. 

Our  Divine  Saviour,  Jesus  Christ,  came  to  break  the 
power  of  the  devil  over  mankind  5  he  came  to  banish 
idolatry,  the  worship  of  the  devil,  from  among  men,  and 
lead  them  back  to  the  worship  and  service  of  his  heavenly 
Father  by  his  holy  example  and  divine  doctrine.  But  no 
sooner  had  he  begun  to  teach  men  his  saving  doctrine, 
than  Satan  opposed  him.  Satan  is  called,  in  Holy  Scrip 
ture,  the  father  of  lies.  From  the  beginning  of  the  world 
he  has  tried  to  misrepresent  every  religious  truth.  He 
practised  this  black  art  in  paradise  j  and  so  unhappily 


successful  was  he  in  it,  that  ever  since  he  has  practised  it, 
in  order  to  propagate  error  and  vice  among  men.  When 
our  Saviour  began  to  preach  his  holy  religion,  Satan 
practised  his  black  art,  even  in  the  presence  of  Christ 
himself.  By  malicious  men,  the  ministers  of  Satan,  Christ 
was  contradicted  and  misrepresented  in  his  doctrine  ;  for, 
instead  of  being  believed,  he  was  held  up  to  the  people  as 
a  blasphemer,  for  teaching  that  he  was  the  Son  of  God,  as 
the  impious  Caiphas  declared  him  to  be,  saying,  "  He  hath 
blasphemed ;  he  is  guilty  of  death."  (Matt,  xxvi,  65.) 
He  was  misrepresented  in  his  reputation,  for  he  was  noble, 
of  royal  lineage,  and  yet  was  despised.  "  Is  not  this  the 
carpenter's  son?"  (Matt,  xiii,  55.)  He  is  wisdom  itself, 
and  was  represented  as  an  ignorant  man :  u  How  doth  this 
man  know  letters,  having  never  learned  ?  "  (John  vii,  17.) 
He  was* represented  as  a  false  prophet:  u  And  they  blind 
folded  him,  and  smote  his  face  .  .  .  saying :  Prophesy 
who  is  this  that  struck  thee?"  (Luke  xxii,  64.)  He 
was  represented  as  a  madman  :  "  He  is  mad,  why  hear 
you  him  1 "  (John  x,  20.)  He  was  represented  as  a  wine- 
bibber,  a  glutton,  and  a  friend  of  sinners  :  u  Behold  a  man 
that  is  a  glutton  and  a  drinker  of  wine,  a  friend  of  publi 
cans  and  sinners."  (Luke  vii,  34.)  He  was  represented 
as  a  sorcerer  :  "  By  the  prince  of  the  devils  he  casteth  out 
devils."  (Matt,  ix,  34.)  He  was  represented  as  a  heretic 
and  possessed  person :  "  Do  we  not  say  well  of  thee,  that 
thou  art  a  Samaritan,  and  hast  a  devil?  "  (John  viii,  48.) 
In  a  word,  Jesus  was  represented  to  the  people  as  so  bad 
and  notorious  a  man,  that  no  trial  was  deemed  necessary 
to  condemn  him,  as  the  Jews  said  to  Pilate  :  "If  he  were 
not  a  malefactor,  we  would  not  have  delivered  him  up  to 
thee."  (John  xviii,  30.)  If  ever  infamous  calumny  was 


earned  to  excess,  it  was  undoubtedly  in  the  case  of  our 
Saviour,  "  who  knew  not  sin,"  who  had  never  uttered  a 
deceitful  word,  who  "  did  all  things  well,"  and  who  "  passed 
his  life  in  doing  good,  and  healing  all  kinds  of  infirmities." 
The  reason  why  those  malicious  men  misrepresented  Christ 
to  the  multitude,  reporting  light  to  be  darkness,  and  God 
to  be  the  devil,  was,  that  thus  they  might  frighten  the 
people  from  embracing  the  truth  and  following  the  Son  of 
God.  Christ  permitted  Satan's  ministers  to  calumniate 
him  in  the  worst  manner,  and  to  condemn  him  to  the  in 
famous  death  of  the  cross.  They  saw  him  die  upon  the 
cross  ;  they  saw  him  buried,  and  thought  that  his  doctrine 
would  soon  be  forgotten.  Their,  malice  seemed  to  have 
triumphed  over  Christ :  and  a  triumph  indeed  there  was — 
but  not  for  them — for  Christ  and  his  Church. 

When  winter  buries  nature  in  its  icy  tomb,  it  seems  to 
celebrate  a  triumph  over  the  beauty  of  nature.  But, 
whilst  nature  sleeps  in  that  tomb  the  silent,  dreary  sleep 
of  death,  gentle  spring  watches,  and  waits,  and  weeps,  till 
at  last  a  glad  smile  shines  through  her  tears  j  and  soon  her 
tears  are  dried,  for  the  grave  is  burst  asunder,  and  nature 
rises  and  lives  again,  strong,  and  bright,  arid  beautiful. 
Thus,  too,  did  the  holy  Church,  the  Spouse  of  Christ, 
kneel  beside  the  tomb  of  her  heavenly  Bridegroom.  Bear 
ing  on  her  brow  his  royal  seal,  and  in  her  hands  his  gifts 
of  power,  she  watched  beside  his  grave,  and  prayed,  and 
wept.  But  soon  her  tears  were  dried,  for  Jesus  rose,  and 
lived  again,  strong,  and  bright,  and  beautiful,  and  her 
heart  was  filled  with  joy,  and  she  was  endowed  anew  with 
treasures  of  immortal  life.  Our  Divine  Saviour  said,  un 
less  the  grain  of  wheat  fall  into  the  ground  and  die,  it 
shall  remain  alone,  it  shall  bear  no  fruit  j  but,  if  it  die, 


then  it  shall  bear  fruit  a  hundred-fold.  Such,  he  seems  to 
say,  is  the  brief  history  of  my  life  on  earth  ;  such  is  the 
history  of  my  Spouse, — my  holy  Church.  Such,  too,  is 
the  history  of  my  faithful  followers,  in  every  age  and  in 
every  clime.  Always  slandered,  hated,  persecuted,  yet 
always  victorious;  always  dying,  yet  ever  living;  cruci 
fied,  buried  in  the  grave,  yet  rising  gloriously  ;  triumphing 
over  death  and  hell,  and  bearing  fruit  a  hundred-fold  unto 
life  everlasting.  I  was  hated,  persecuted,  and  put  to 
death,  because  I  taught  truth,  and  public  and  private 
morality.  My  Church  teaches  the  same.  But  Satan  con 
stantly  tempts  the  wicked  to  rebel  against  the  truth,  and 
therefore  is  she  assailed,  in  every  age,  by  the  enemies  of 
truth.  Knowing  this,  I  have  declared  that  the  lot  of  my 
followers  in  this  world  would  for  ever  be  one  of  persecu 
tion  ;  that  wicked  men  would  rise  up  in  every  age,  thinking 
that  to  persecute  and  oppress  God's  people  was  to  do  God's 

"  Beware  of  men.  For  they  will  deliver  you  up  in 
councils,  and  they  will  scourge  you  in  their  synagogues. 
And  you  shall  be  brought  before  governors  and  before 
kings,  for  my  sake,  for  a  testimony  to  them  and  to  the 
Gentiles.  The  brother  shall  deliver  up  the  brother  to 
death,  and  the  father  the  son ;  and  the  children  shall  rise 
up  against  their  parents,  and  shall  put  them  to  death,  and 
you  shall  be  hated  by  all  men,  for  my  name's  sake  ;  but  he 
that  shall  persevere  unto  the  end,  he  shall  be  saved." 
(Matt,  x,  17-22.)  "If  you  had  been  of  the  world,  the 
world  would  love  its  own  ;  but  because  you  are  not  of  the 
world,  therefore  the  world  hateth  you.  Remember  iny 
word  that  I  said  to  you :  The  servant  is  not  greater  than 
his  master.  If  they  have  persecuted  me,  they  will  also 


persecute  you."  (John  xv,  19,  20.)  "Yea,  the  hour 
cometh  that,  whosoever  killeth  you,  will  think  that  he 
doth  a  service  to  God."  (John  xvi,  2.)  "  And  I  say  to  you: 
Be  not  afraid  of  them  who  kill  the  body,  and  after  that 
have  no  more  that  they  can  do.  But  fear  ye  him  who, 
after  he  hath  killed,  hath  power  to  cast  into  hell.  Yea, 
I  say  to  you,  fear  him."  (Luke  xii,  4,  5.) 

This  prediction  of  our  Lord  has  always  come,  and  always 
will  come,  true.  But,  as  Christ  predicted  the  persecutions 
of  his  followers,  so  also  did  he  foretell  that  they  would 
conquer,  as  he  conquered.  The  life  of  Christ  was  a 
transition  from  the  deepest  suffering  to  the  loftiest  triumph 
and  glory.  The  Church,  whose  life  is  that  of  Christ, 
passes  constantly  from  suffering  to  glory,  and  from  glory 
back  again  to  suffering,  until  at  last  her  final  triumph 
will  come,  when  suffering  shall  be  no  more.  Persecutions, 
therefore,  though  they  must  come,  must  end,  and  end  in 
the  triumph  of  the  Church. 

No  sooner  had  the  apostles  begun  to  announce  the 
Gospel,  than  they  met  with  the  same  treatment  which 
their  Divine  Master  had  received.  The  people  were 
stirred  up  against  St.  Stephen  by  misrepresentation,  be 
cause  they  were  told  that  "  he  had  spoken  blasphemous 
words  against  Moses  and  against  God."  (Acts  vi,  11.)  They 
were  also  stirred  up  against  St.  Paul,  because  they  were  told 
that  he  was  "  a  pestilent  fellow,  and  a  mover  of  sedition 
amongst  all  the  Jews  throughout  the  world."  (Acts  xxiv,  5.) 
Neither  did  those  calumnies,  those  wicked  misrepresenta 
tions,  stop  here.  Jesus  Christ  said  :  "  The  disciple  is  not 
above  the  master ;  if  they  have  called  the  master  of  the 
house  Beelzebub,  how  much  more  shall  they  call  them  of 
the  household  ?  "  (Matt,  x,  24.) 


In  these  words  our  Lord  not  only  foretold  what  was  to 
happea  to  his  followers  then  present,  but  also  to  the 
faithful  who  were  to  come  after  them,  and  to  his  Church  iu 
future  ages ;  so  that,  though  they  should  be  ever  so  just 
to  God  and  their  neighbor,  upright  in  their  ways,  and 
live  in  the  fear  of  God  and  the  observance  of  his  laws, 
yet  must  they  be  reviled  and  hated  by  the  world,  made 
a  byword  to  the  people,  have  the  repute  of  seducers, 
and  be  a  scandal  to  all  nations.  Has  not  this  come  true 
in  all  ages?  See  what  was  the  state  of  Christians  in  the 
primitive  times.  Their  lives  were  holy  and  pure,  and 
yet  it  is  almost  impossible  to  believe  in  what  contempt 
they  were  held.  Tertullian  tells  us  that,  so  malicious 
were  the  slanders  scattered  abroad  concerning  the 
manner  of  their  worship, — their  whole  religion  being 
described  not  only  to  be  mere  folly  and  foppery,  but  also 
to  be  grounded  on  most  hellish  principles,  and  full  of 
impieties, — the  heathens  believed  a  man  could  not  make 
profession  of  Christianity  without  being  tainted  with 
all  sorts  of  crimes,  without  being  an  enemy  to  princes, 
to  the  laws,  to  good  manners,  and  to  nature  itself.  Thus 
the  Christian  religion  was  made  wholly  infamous  amongst 
the  heathens,  was  condemned  and  detested  by  the 
greater  part,  and  most  bloody  persecutions  were  raised 
against  the  Christians,  whilst  they  were  guilty  of  no  other 
crime  than  that  of  adhering  to  the  truth.  And  those 
calumnies,  those  false  accusations,  were  invented  to  cry 
down  the  Christian  religion.  Hence  Tertullian  was  driven 
to  write  his  "  Apology,"  wherein  he  showed  to  the  world 
that  Christianity  was  nothing  like  what  the  heathens 
imagined  it  to  be  ;  that  idolatry,  superstition,  impiety, 
cruelty,  treachery,  conspiracy,  arid  all  other  crimes  against 


nature  and  grace,  were  condemned  and  reprobated  by 
their  doctrine.  He  showed  that  these  crimes  were  only 
the  malicious  inventions  and  reports  of  the  heathen 
priests,  who,  being  unable  to  withstand  the  force  of 
the  Christian  religion,  had  no  other  way  to  preserve  them 
selves  in  repute,  and  keep  the  people  in  their  error,  than 
by  a  hideous  mask,  an  abominable  scheme  of  religion, 
which  holding  forth  to  the  world,  they  cried  out :  u  This 
is  the  religion  of  Christians  5  these  are  their  principles  j 
behold  their  ignorance,  their  stupidity,  their  profaneness ; 
behold  their  insolence,  their  villanies, — a  people  insuffer 
able  in  a  commonwealth,  enemies  to  their  country  and 
their  prince  ! 7?  Thus,  representing  the  Christian  religion 
as  utterly  monstrous,  they  brought  odium  upon  as  many 
as  owned  the  Christian  name,  and  condemned  them  for 
follies  and  crimes  that  existed  nowhere,  except  in  their 
wicked  imagination.  Edicts  breathing  destruction  against 
the  Christians,  and  those  who  believed  in  their  doctrine, 
were  published,  Christians  were  seized,  executioners  were 
fatigued  with  the  work  of  death,  and  the  most  barbarous 
tortures  were  devised,  to  banish  Christianity  from  the 
face  of  the  earth.  Torments,  which  only  hell  could  have 
inspired,  were  employed  to  strike  terror  into  the  hearts  of 
the  Christians.  They  were  nailed  to  the  cross,  they  were 
thrown  to  wild  beasts,  they  were  besmeared  with  pitch, 
tied  to  stakes,  and  then  set  on  fire,  to  light  up  the  streets 
of  pagan  Rome.  But  their  courage  rose  with  their  suffer 
ings.  With  a  holy  enthusiasm  they  showed  themselves 
before  the  tyrants,  and  boldly  confessed  the  name  of  Je'sus  ; 
mothers  caught  up  their  little  babes  from  the  cradle,  and, 
)earing  them  in  their  arms  before  the  heathen  judgos, 
they  cried  aloud,  u  We  are  Christians,  we  will  die  for 


Christ."  The  bridegroom  and  the  bride  put  on  their 
festal  robes,  and  hastened  together  to  the  scene  of  death. 
United  in  heart,  united  in  faith,  they  wished  to  be  united 
also  in  death,  and  to  enter  together  to  the  marriage  feast 
of  the  Lamb. 

Manly  warriors  cast  aside  their  arms,  and  gave  their 
lives  for  Christ.  Tender,  noble  virgins  hastened  joyfully 
to  die  for  their  bridegroom,  Jesus.  So  great  was  the  havoc 
wrought  by  these  early  persecutions  among  the  children 
of  the  Church,  that  her  martyrs  alone  amount  to  thirty 
thousand  for  every  day  in  the  year, — martyrs  whose  blood, 
as  a  holy  pontiff  remarks,  was  like  the  chosen  seed, 
which  perishes  only  to  produce  fruits  a  hundred-fold. 

The  Church  was  crushed.  Her  tyrant  oppressors  re 
joiced  that  she  was  annihilated.  But  the  virgin  was  not 
dead,  she  was  only  sleeping.  The  grain  of  wheat  was  cast 
into  the  ground ;  it  was  dead,  apparently,  but  it  soon  took 
root,  rose  again,  fresh  and  vigorous,  and  brought  forth  fruit 
a  hundred-fold.  The  blood  of  the  martyrs  became  the 
seed  of  new  Christians ;  the  pagan  tyrant  cut  down  a 
single  blade  of  wheat,  and  a  hundred  others  sprung  up  in 
its  stead  ;  and  where  Christianity  seemed  utterly  destroyed, 
there  it  soon  celebrated  a  glorious  triumph. 

The  Catholic  Church  arose  from  the  grave  5  she  came 
forth  from  the  catacombs,  strong  and  beautiful  as  ever, 
wearing  on  her  brow  the  diadem  of  a  spiritual  empire, 
that  shall  never  fail  till  the  very  elements  dissolve  and 
disappear.  She  spoke,  and  at  her  heavenly  voice  the 
Jew  laid  aside  his  national  pride,  and  embraced  the  Gen 
tile  as  a  brother,  lie  gave  up  his  fond  hope  of  an  earthly 
Messiah  and  an  earthly  kingdom,  and  bent  the  knee  before 
that  very  Jesus  whom  he  had  crucified.  The  Greek 


abandoned  his  halls,  his  academies,  and  his  worldly  wis 
dom,  to  become  the  disciple  of  the  fishermen  of  Galilee,  and 
to  learn  from  them  how  to  be  "a  fool"  for  Christ's  sake. 
The  Roman  turned  his  back  upon  the  Capitol,  and  received, 
with  the  docility  of  11  child,  the  doctrine  of  humility  and 
peace  to  all  men.  The  heathen  rejected  his  false  gods, — 
the  gods  he  had  inherited  from  his  forefathers,  that  allowed 
him  to  gratify  every  selfish  desire  of  his  heart  j  he  em 
braced  the  religion  of  the  cross, — the  religion  of  purity,  of 
self-denial,  of  unbounded  charity.  The  cross,  the  sym 
bol  of  Christ's  kingdom,  soon  rose  triumphantly  over  the 
cities  of  Antioch  and  Alexandria.  The  cross  towered 
above  Athens,  the  proud  seat  of  worldly  wisdom.  The 
cross  shone  brightly  over  sensual  Corinth  j  and  the  prince 
of  the  apostles  bore  the  cross  to  Rome,  and  planted  it 
beside  the  throne  of  the  Caesars.  Proud  Rome,  so  long 
drunk  with  the  blood  of  the  martyrs,  at  length  bowed  her 
haughty  neck  to  the  sweet  yoke  of  Jesus,  and  the  Roman 
Csesars  laid  down  their  glittering  crown  and  sceptre,  as 
an  humble  offering,  at  the  foot  of  the  cross. 

Christianity  spread  with  all  the  swiftness  of  divine 
truth.  It  soon  passed  beyond  the  uttermost  ends  of  the 
far-extended  Roman  empire,  so  that  Tertullian  could  say, 
with  truth,  that  nearly  all  the  nations  of  the  then  known 
world  were  united  in  one  religion, — the  religion  of  the 

Constantine  the  Great  fought,  before  the  walls  of  Rome, 
the  battle  which  was  to  decide  for  ever  the  fate  of  pagan 
ism.  Constantine  knew  that  his  enemy,  Maxentius,  was  far 
superior  in  numbers,  and  he  felt  that  no  graven  image  of 
stone  or  wood  could  help  him  in  his  hour  of  need.  He, 
therefore,  turned  his  heart  to  the  living  and  mighty  God. 


He  called  upon  the  God  of  the  Christians,  of  whose 
charity  and  goodness  he  had  heard  so  much ;  and  God 
rewarded  his  confidence,  and  granted  his  prayer.  A 
blazing  cross  appeared  in  the  heavens,  surrounded  by 
the  inscription,  En  touto  nika :  tl  In  this  sign  thou  shalt 
conquer."  Constantine  obeyed  the  voice  of  God.  He 
struck  off  the  Roman  eagle,  and  raised,  in  its  stead,  the 
holy  cross.  As  the  morning  sun  arose,  its  rays  fell  upon 
the  golden  eagle,  the  symbol  of  pagan  Rome,  but,  opposed 
to  it,  glittered,  for  the  first  time,  the  cross, — the  standard 
of  victory ;  and  before  that  day's  sun  had  set,  paganism 
was  vanquished,  Christianity  triumphant,  and  Constan 
tine  bore  the  blazing  cross,  in  triumph,  through  the  open 
gates  of  Rome,  to  plant  it  upon  the  Capitol  of  the  Csesars. 
Thus  the  Roman  persecutions  ended  in  the  crushing  of 
the  blind  owl  and  bull, — the  pagan  power, — and  the  sup 
planting  of  it  by  a  Christian  empire. 



ONE  enemy  is  overcome,  but  the  Church  is  doomed 
still  to  suffer,  still  to  triumph.  She  has  escaped  from 
open  enemies ;  she  must  now  suffer  from  false  friends, — 
from  apostate  Catholics.  Arius  denied  the  divinity  of 
Christ ;  Macedonius,  the  divinity  of  the  Holy  Ghost  j 
Nestorius  refused  to  the  Blessed  Virgin  the  title  of  the 
Mother  of  God  ;  Pelagius  denied  the  necessity  of  divine 
grace :  heretic  after  heretic  came  to  strike  a  deadly  blow 
at  the  Church.  They  often  succeeded  in  gaining  the 
favor  of  monarchs,  under  whose  protection  they  most 
barbarously  persecuted  the  faithful.  They  took  up  the 
calumnies  which  had  been  invented  by  the  heathens. 
No  one  ever  left  the  Church  without  trying  to  make  her 
infamous,  and  blacken  her  with  such  crimes  as  were  best 
calculated  to  make  her  hateful  to  all.  To  justify  their 
apostasy  from  the  faith,  and  gain  to  themselves  the 
character  of  orthodox  Christians,  apostates  have  invariably 
painted  the  Church  in  all  possible  antichristian  colors, 
and  represented  her  as  evil  as  wickedness  could  desire  to 
make  her. 

St.  Augustine  tells  us  that  the  Manichees  and  Donatists 
did  all  in  their  power  to  raise  prejudices  in  the  minds  of 
the  people  against  the  Roman  Catholic  Church.  They 

THE   SECOND   ENEMY   OF   THE   CHURCH :   HERESY.       13 

told  men  that  the  teaching  of  the  Church  was  unsound 
and  profane  doctrine,  that  it  was  full  of  wicked  principles 
and  human  inventions,  instead  of  divine  faith :  and  all 
these  calumnies  were  spread  abroad  among  the  people,  in 
order  that  they  might  not  think  of  going  to  the  Church  to 
learn  the  truth,  or  even  suspect  her  to  be  the  Church  of 
Christ.  "  The  chief  reason,"  says  St.  Augustine,  a  why 
I  continued  to  live  so  long  in  the  errors  of  the  Manichees, 
and  impugned  the  Catholic  Church  with  so  much  violence, 
was,  because  I  thought  that  all  I  had  heard  against  the 
Church  was  true.  But  when  I  found  out  that  it  was  all 
false,  I  made  known  this  falsehood  to  the  world,  in  order 
to  undeceive  others  who  were  caught  in  the  same  snare. 
I  mingled  joys  and  blushes,  and  was  ashamed  that  I  had 
now  for  so  many  years  been  barking  and  railing,  not 
against  the  Catholic  faith,  but  only  against  the  fictions  of 
my  carnal  conceits.  For,  so  rash  and  impious  was  I,  that 
those  things  which  I  might  first  have  learned  from  Cath 
olics  by  inquiry,  I  charged  upon  them  by  accusation.  I 
was  readier  to  impose  falsehood  than  to  be  informed  of 
the  truth."  This  he  did,  deluded  and  deceived  by  the 
Manichees.  Alas!  this  has  not  been  the  case  of  St. 
Augustine  alone,  but  of  almost  as  many  as  have  given  ear 
to  the  deserters  of  this  Church  j  nay,  it  is  at  this  very 
day  the  case  of  infinite  numbers  of  Protestants  and  infidels, 
who,  following  St.  Augustine  in  his  errors,  do  not  inquire 
how  this  thing  is  believed  or  understood  by  the  Church, 
but  insultingly  oppose  all,  as  if  understood  as  they  imagine. 
They  make  no  difference  between  that  which  the  Catholic 
Church  teaches,  and  what  they  think  she  teaches.  Thus 
they  believe  her  guilty  of  as  many  absurdities,  follies,  and 
impieties,  as  the  heathens  did  of  old. 


But,  as  the  Almighty  rules  and  shapes  every  seeming 
disaster  to  the  good  of  his  Church,  every  heresy  broached 
by  the  pride  or  infidelity  of  men  brought  out  defenders 
of  the  truth.  Against  Arianism  God  raised  up  Athanasius 
.  and  St.  Hilary  of  Poictiers  ;  to  oppose  the  Nestorians,  came 
St.  Cyril ;  St.  Augustine  beat  down  the  Pelagians.  In  the 
noble  works  which  the  fathers  of  the  early  centuries  of 
Christianity  wrote  to  defend  the  doctrines  of  the  Church 
against  their  assailants,  they  unanimously  lay  down  this 
clear  principle,  that  "  such  doctrine  is  truly  Catholic  as  has 
been  believed  in  all  places,  at  all  times,  and  by  all  the 
faithful."  By  this  test  of  universality,  antiquity,  and 
consent,  the  Church  tries,  especially  in  her  general  coun 
cils,  all  questions  concerning  faith  and  morals,  condemns 
and  rejects  all  variations  from  this  belief,  and  thus  always 
triumphs  over  heresy  and  infidelity.  The  popes  convoked 
several  general  councils :  at  Nice,  325,  at  Ephesus,  431, 
and  at  other  place  and  times,  wherein  the  doctrines  of 
the  Arians,  Nestorians,  and  other  heretics,  were  solemnly 
condemned  and  rejected.  Each  sucessive  heresy  lasted 
only  for  a  time.  The  Nestorians,  the  Eutychians,  and 
others,  have  long  since  been  forgotten.  Their  creeds  were 
the  work  of  man,  and  as  such  they  were  mortal.  Tho  truth 
of  the  Catholic  Church  triumphed  over  them  all. 

Like  the  vast  and  universal  arch  of  heaven,  the  Church 
over-canopies  alike  all  Christian  climes  and  ages  j  and,  like 
that  arch,  she  is  one,  unbroken,  wheresoever  she  appears. 
Sectarian  systems  are  the  dark  and  shifting  vapors  that 
obscure  the  surface  of  the  heavens  ;  and  their  ever-vary 
ing  masses  are  drifted  into  numberless  fantistic  forms  by 
every  passing  gale,  "by  every  wind  of  doctrine,"  as  St. 
Paul  expresses  it.  Cloud  of  heresy  after  c'oud  of  heresy 

HERESY.  15 

has  fallen  in  rain,  or  disappeared  in  the  boundless  fields 
of  ether, — u  they  were  and  are  not," — whilst  other  vapors 
occupy  their  place  as  fleeting  and  as  unsubstantial  f  but 
the  arch  still  stands,  for  the  sacred  word  of  everlasting  truth 
is  pledged  for  its  perpetual  stability. 

Yes,  the  Church  still  stands.  She  speeds  on,  on  her 
heaven-sent  mission,  conquering  and  to  conquer.  Having 
triumphed  over  two  great  enemies,  heathenism  and  heresy, 
she  has  now  to  win  another  triumph, — the  triumph  over 
secret  societies. 



§   1. — The  Object  of  Freemasonry. 

THE  state  of  irreligion  and  infidelity  in  which  the 
greater  part  of  mankind  are  plunged  at  the  present  day, 
is  but  the  work  of  Satan..  How  could  men,  without  Satanic 
delusion,  be  impious  enough  to  make  liars  of  Jesus  Christ, 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  of  the  apostles ;  to  blaspheme  the 
Mother  of  God,  and  God's  saints  •,  to  slander  the  Spouse 
of  Jesus  Christ,  the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  in  every 
possible  manner  j  nay,  even  to  deny  the  existence  of 
Almighty  God?  They  could  not  fall  so  low,  without 
diabolical  influence.  And  the  great  bull  which  Satan  has 
raised  to  destroy,  if  possible,  the  Catholic  Church,  and  to 
introduce  heathenism  again  in  her  stead,  is  Freemasonry. 

In  the  year  1440,  the  Gnostic  sects,  the  Manicheans, 
the  Cabalists,  and  the  Brethren  of  John,  united  and  formed 
the  present  Order  of  Freemasonry.  They  bound  them 
selves  to  wage  war  against  the  Church  of  Christ,  which 
was  making  such  extraordinary  progress,  and  to  maintain 
and  restore  heathenism.  The  Freemasons  maintain  that 
the  ancient  heathen  church,  with  its  symbols  and  mys 
teries,  is  the  primitive  church  of  mankind ;  that  the 
Mosaic  religion,  the  religion  of  Jehovah,  was  (inly  a  local 
and  national  modification  of  this  heathen  church  ;  and, 
consequently,  that  Christ  is  only  a  rebel  against  the  true 
Church  of  God, 


The  most  hidden,  the  fundamental,  secret  of  the  ancient 
heathen  church  was  the  utter  denial  of  the  existence  of 
God  and  of  the  spirit-world,  and  the  assertion  of  the 
grossest  materialism  j  so  that  man,  being  the  most  cunning 
f  of  creatures,  should  rule  the  animals,  that  the  most  cun 
ning  man  should  rule  his  fellow-men,  and,  by  religious 
superstitions,  and  knavery,  and  force,  should  at  last 
become  the  God  of  his  fellow-men.  The  object  of 
Freemasonry,  then,  is  to  restore  the  ancient  Church  of 
heathenism  j  to  elevate  heathenism  to  a  universal  politico- 
religious  power,  and  to  require  and  establish  a  com 
munity  of  goods. 

To  attain  this  object,  society  must  be  remodelled  j  that 
is,  be  broken  to  pieces,  and  then  put  together  again, 
according  to  Masonic  ideas  and  principles.  Hence  the 
entire  symbolism  of  Freemasonry  is  taken  from  architec 
ture.  To  destroy  an  old  building  properly,  you  tear  down 
one  piece  after  the  other.  In  like  manner,  the  new  build 
ing  is  erected  piece  by  piece.  This  is  precisely  the 
manner  of  acting  of  our  modern  Freemasons. 

The  Grand  Master  has  the  hammer  9  in  order  to  pre 
pare  the  rising  generation  slowly  by  laws  which  exclude 
religion  from,  schools,  or  demand  compulsory  education, 
forcing  the  children  to  go  to  these  schools,  under  pretence 
of  the  evils  of  ignorance,  but,  in  reality,  to  bring  them  up 
without  religion ;  to  destroy  the  family,  by  making  them 
simply  the  children  and  slaves  of  the  State,  to  be  taken 
from  their  parents,  fed,  clothed,  schooled,  and  utterly 
possessed  by  the  State.  They,  therefore,  condemn  Catholic 
and  religious  schools,  tax  church  property,  schools,  asy 
lums,  hospitals,  and  similar  institutions,  thus  trying  to 
undermine  gradually  and  to  destroy  every  vestige  of 


Christianity,  and  to  erect,  in  its  stead,  a  universal  politico- 
religious  heathen  church,  possessing  a  complete  commun 
ity  of  goods.  Hence  the  Grand  Master  has  also  the  sword. 
When  all  things  are  ripe,  war  must  be  declared  'against 
the  Catholic  Church.  Therefore,  Freemasons  keep  secret 
the  object  and  true  history  of  their  order,  until  they  are 
strong  enough  to  be  sure  of  success,  Then  will  they 
throw  off  the  mask,  and  creep  forth  from  the  slime  and 
darkness.  Indeed  their  leaders  have  declared  their  inten 
tion  often  enough  already,  on  the  eve  of  revolutions  which 
they  thought  would  succeed  in  bringing  about  the  object 
of  their  desires,  and  their  final  triumph  in  the  world. 

Hence  the  Warden,  called  Brother  Truth,  of  the  Knights 
Adepts  of  the  Eagle  or  Sun,  says  to  the  candidate  : 

u  If  you  ask  me  what  are  the  requisite  qualities  that 
a  Mason  must  be  possessed  of,  to  come  to  the  centre  of 
truth,  I  answer  you,  that  you  must  crush  the  head  of  the 
serpent  of  ignorance.  You  must  shake  off  the  yoke  of 
infant  prejudice  concerning  the  mysteries  of  the  reigning 
religion,  which  worship  has  been  imaginary,  and  only 
founded  on  the  spirit  of  pride,  which  envies  to  command, 
and  be  distinguished,  and  to  be  at  the  head  of  the  vulgar  ; 
in  affecting  an  exterior  purity,  which  characterizes  a 
false  piety,  joined  to  a  desire  of  acquiring  that  which  is 
not  its  own,  and  is  always  the  subject  of  this  exterior 
pride,  and  the  unalterable  source  of  many  disorders  ;  which, 
being  joined  to  gluttonness,  is  the  daughter  of  hypocrisy, 
and  employs  every  matter  to  satisfy  carnal  desires,  and 
raises  to  these  predominant  passions  altars,  upo'n  which 
she  maintains,  without  ceasing,  the  light  of  iniquity,  and 
sacrifices  continually  offerings  of  luxury,  voluptuousness, 
hatred,  envy,  and  perjury.  Behold,  my  dear  brother, 


what  you  must  fight  against  and  destroy,  before  you  can 
come  to  the  knowledge  of  the  true  good  and  sovereign 
happiness  !  Behold  this  monster  which  you  must  conquer, 
— a  serpent  which  we  detest  as  an  idol,  that  is  adored  by 
the  idiot  and  vulgar,  under  the  name  of  Religion.  Here 
the  Christian  beholds  Christ  rejected,  himself  charged 
with  the  basest  crimes,  condemned  as  an  idiot,  his  wor 
ship  imaginary,  his  religion  founded  on  the  spirit  of  pride, 
the  daughter  of  hypocrisy,  a  serpent,  a  monster,  an  idol, 
detested  by  Masonry."  (From  li  Light  on  Masonry," 
published  by  David  Bernard,  1829.) 

"  There  is,"  says  Pius  VII,  "  no  necessity  for  conjec 
tures,  nor  even  for  argument,  to  arrive  at  the  judgment 
which  we  have  enunciated  (against  secret  societies).  Their 
printed  books,  which  describe  the  observances  practised 
at  the  meetings  of  their  higher  grades ;  their  catechisms, 
their  statutes,  and  the  other  authentic  documents  of  a 
very  grave  character  j  the  testimony  of  their  own  mem- 
bers,  who  have  left  the  society  and  revealed  to  the  magis 
trates  all  their  errors  and  frauds, — all  these  prove  that 
the  Carbonari  (which  term  comprises  all  the  secret 
societies)  have  for  their  principal  end  to  bring  about  an 
indifference  in  matters  of  religion,  and  to  induce  every  one 
to  exercise  a  license  in  framing  for  himself  a  religion  by 
his  own  genius,  and  consisting  of  his  own  opinions — the 
most  pernicious  error  which  it  is  possible  to  conceive — to 
profane  and  pollute  the  passion  of  Jesus  Christ  by  certain 
wicked  ceremonies  of  their  own  ;  to  cast  contempt  on  the 
sacraments  of  the  Church  and  the  mysteries  of  the  Catholic 
religion,  by  substituting  for  them  (most  horrible  sacrilege  ! ) 
other  new  ones,  invented  by  themselves ;  and  to  overturn 
this  Apostolic  See,  against  which;  because  of  the  primacy 


which,  as  St.  Augustine  says,  it  has  always  possessed, 
they  entertain  a  peculiar  hatred,  and  contrive  the  most 
baneful  and  pernicious  plots. 

"  Nor  are  the  moral  precepts  taught  by  the  Society  of 
the  Carbonari  (as  shown  by  the  same  documents)  less 
nefarious,  although  they  vaunt  themselves,  with  a  most 
confident  air,  that  they  exact  from  their  followers  the 
practice  of  charity,  and  of  every  kind  of  virtue,  and  a  care 
ful  abstinence  from  every  species  of  vice.  That  society, 
then,  impudently  encourages  lustful  pleasures,  and  teaches 
that  it  is  lawful  to  kill  those  who  have  violated  the  secret 
o^th  which  we  have  mentioned  above.  And,  although 
Peter,  the  Prince  of  the  Apostles,  commanded  that  Chris 
tians  should  be  subject,  for  God's  sake,  to  every  man, 
whether  to  the  king,  as  supreme,  or  to  rulers,  as  appointed 
by  him,  etc.  ;  and  although  the  Apostle  Paul  enjoins  that 
( every  soul  should  be  subject  to  the  higher  powers/  etc., 
yet  that  society  teaches  that  it  is  right  to  excite  seditions, 
and  thus  to  hurl  from  power  kings  and  all  other  rulers, 
whom  they  dare,  over  and  over  again,  to  call  by  the  insult 
ing  name  of  tyrants.  ... 

"It  must  not  be  imagined  that  all  these  evils,  and  many 
others  also,  which  we  have  not  mentioned,  are  falsely  and 
calumniously  attributed  to  these  clandestine  sects.  The 
books  which  their  members  have  dared  to  write  about 
religion  and  about  the  State,  show  us  that  they  spurn  the 
authority  of  religion  and  of  political  rulers ;  that  they 
blaspheme  majesty ;  that  they  are  never  tired  of  calling 
Christ  '  a  scandal J  or  a  '  folly ;'  nay,  they  not  unfre- 
quently  assert  that  there  is  no  God,  and  that  the  soul  of 
a  man  dies,  and  comes  to  nothing  with  his  body.  Their 
documents  and  statutes,  in  which  they  explain  their  pur- 


poses  and  give  minutes  of  their  meetings  for  consultation, 
clearly  prove  all  that  we  have  mentioned  of  their  endeavors 
to  overturn  legitimate  rulers  and  entirely  destroy  the 
Church,  and  avow  that  all  such  attempts  which  have 
occurred  in  the  world  have  proceeded  from  them.  More 
over,  from  these  sources  it  is  proved,  beyond  doubt,  that 
all  the  clandestine  sects,  although  they  differ  in  name,  are 
yet  intimately  connected  in  the  bond  of  their  most  impious 
counsels."  ("  Ecdesiam  a  Jesu  Christo"  September  13, 

What  Pius  VII  has  said  of  secret  societies,  is  confirmed 
by  Pius  IX  in  his  Allocution,  addressed  to  the  Cardinals 
of  the  Holy  Roman  Church,  March  12,  1877.  He  says: 

tl  The  seventh  year  is  already  upon  us  since  the  in 
vaders  of  our  civil  principality,  riding  roughshod  over 
every  right,  human  and  divine,  breaking  faith  in  solemn 
compacts,  and  taking  advantage  of  the  misfortunes  of  an 
illustrious  Catholic  nation,  by  violence  and  force  of  arms 
occupied  the  provinces  still  remaining  in  our  power,  tak 
ing  possession  of  this  Holy  City,  and,  by  this  act  of 
sovereign  iniquity,  overwhelming  the  entire  Church  with 
grief  and  mourning.  The  false  and  worthless  promises 
which,  in  those  woful  days,  they  made  to  foreign  govern 
ments  concerning  our  dearest  interests,  by  declaring  that 
they  desired  to  pay  homage  and  honor  to  the  freedom 
of  the  Church,  and  that  they  intended  that  the  power  of 
the  Roman  Pontiff  should  remain  free  and  unabridged. — 
these  promises  did  not  succeed  in  beguiling  us  into  vain 
hopes,  and  did  not  prevent  us,  from  that  very  moment, 
from  fully  realizing  all  the  tribulations  and  afflictions  that 
awaited  us  under  their  dominion.  On  the  contrary,  fully 
aware  of  the  impious  designs  entertained  by  men  who  are 


leagued  together  by  a  fondness  for  modern  innovations, 
and  by  a  criminal  oath,  we  at  once  openly  proclaimed  that 
this  sacrilegious  invasion  was  not  intended  so  much  to 
oppress  our  civil  principality  as  it  was  to  undermine,  all 
the  more  readily,  through  the  oppression  of  our  temporal 
power,  all  the  institutions  of  the  Church,  to  overthrow  the 
authority  of  the  Holy  See,  and  to  utterly  destroy  the 
power  of  the  Vicar  of  Jesus  Christ,  which,  all  unworthy 
as  we  are,  we  exercise  here  on  earth. " 

§  2. — Lies  of  Freemasons. 

In  order  to  conceal  the  real  object  of  the  order,  not 
only  from  the  profane  world,  but  also  from  eleven  out  of 
twelve  Freemasons, — for  it  takes  a  great  deal  of  wicked 
ness  and  hardness  of  heart  in  a  man  not  to  be  shocked  at 
such  declarations  as  the  one  quoted  above, — they  tell  the 
following  lies : 

First.  Freemasonry  does  not  meddle  in  politics  or  re 
ligion  :  it  is  a  purely  benevolent  society. 

Second.  Freemasonry  is  strictly  loyal,  and  obeys  the 
laws  of  the  State. 

This  is  proved. : 

1.  By  the  statutes  of  the  order. 

2.  By  the  number  of  kings  and  princes  who  deem  it 
an  honor  to  be  members  and  protectors  of  the  order. 

3.  The    accusations    against   Masonry    are    false   and 

These  are  all  infamous  lies.  As  to  the  statutes  of  the 
order,  it  is  true  that  the  Freemasons  have  statutes  for 
kings  and  princes,  as  well  as  for  the  lower  grades  and  the 
outer  world, — statutes  which  are  all  very  innocent  and 
beautiful  j  but  it  is  also  true  that  they  have  statutes  of 


another  kind  for  the  confidential  brethren.  In  fact  every 
member  is  bound  by  a  terrible  oath,  and  under  penalty 
of  death,  not  to  reveal  to  outsiders,  or  to  the  government, 
the  real  object  and  the  real  plans  of  the  order.  Did  you 
ever  hear  of  a  society  of  burglars  that  would  disclose  to 
the  authorities  the  real  object  and  the  real  plans  of  their 
society  ? 

Freemasons  declare  that  their  "  public  statutes  are  the 
only  ones,'7  and  to  these  statutes  the  significant  words  are 
added  :  "  You  must  carefully  observe  all  these  obligations, 
as  well  as  those  that  shall  be  taught  you  in  a  manner  that 
cannot  be  described."  (Eckert,  p.  20,  "  Mystcrien  Gesell- 
schaften  der  Heidenkirche.  ")  It  is,  moreover,  a  notorious 
fact  that,  in  every  degree  of  Freemasonry,  a  new  oath  is 
required  ;  in  nearly  every  degree  a  new  object  of  Free 
masonry  is  taught,  and  the  object  and  obligation  of  the 
preceding  grade  are  declared  to  be  but  a  pious  fraud. 

The  order  existed  for  centuries  before,  its  pretended 
object  was  made  public.  It  was  only  at  Wilhelmsbad  that 
the  object  of  the  order  was  declared  to  be,  "  benevolence, 
in  a  Masonic  sense."  The  object  of  Freemasonry  is  to 
benefit  mankind  j  therefore,  whatever  furthers  the  inter 
ests  of  Freemasonry,  furthers  the  interests  of  mankind. 

"The  object  of  Freemasonry  is  to  heal  all  the  evils  in 
society  that  flow  from  differences  of  nationality,  differences 
in  the  stations  of  life,  and  differences  in  religion.  Nature 
has  made  us  all  beings  of  one  species,  citizens  of  one 
world,  owners  of  one  earth,  and  children  of  one  mother, 
and  in  this  alone  consider  all  our  greatness."  ("Wiener 
Journal  MSS.  fur  Brtider"  Eckert,  21.) 

"  Freemasonry  also  acts  the  part  of  a  friend,  and  strives, 
with  restless  energy,  to  procure  the  welfare  of  a  worthy 


brother  5  and,  if  unable  to  help  him  herself,  she  uses  all 
the  resources  of  her  eloquence  to  induce  the  great  and 
pnwerful  to  promote  the  temporal  welfare  of  her  friends  j 
that  is,  to  procure  them  lucrative  offices  in  the  govern 
ment."  (Eckert,  23.) 

At  first  sight  such  principles  seem  to  be  true,  and  the 
people  in  general  will  accept  them.  Experience  teaches 
that  the  public  will  accept,  without  question,  almost  any 
maxim  or  problem,  provided  it  be  formulated  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  convey  some  specific  meaning  that  does  not 
demand  reflection  or  complex  examination.  For  the  same 
reason  no  small  portion  of  the  public  will  reject  anything 
that  at  first  sight  seems  to  exceed  the  measure  of  their 
understanding.  Knaves  and  charlatans,  knowing  this, 
impose  on  the  public,  by  flattering  their  intelligence,  that 
they  may  accomplish  their  own  ambitious  and  selfish  ends. 
In  this  way  it  is  that,  by  the  Masonic  teaching,  a  multi 
tude  of  pernicious  maxims  have  come  into  vogue,  as  well 
in  reference  to  religion,  society,  and  politics,  as  also  to  the 
object  of  Freemasonry.  Their  plea,  that  they  want  all 
men  to  be  virtuous,  a  to  have  faith  in  God,  hope  and 
charity,"  and  that  they  insist  on  the  necessity  "of  temper 
ance,  fortitude,"  etc.,  will  not  serve.  These  virtues,  in 
Freemasonic  theology,  are  all  natural  virtues,  which  reason 
and  Christian  faith  alike  declare  to  be  insufficient,  without 
the  supernatural  virtues,  to  work  out  the  salvration  of  men's 
souls,  or  to  keep  civil  society  in  proper  order.  Free 
masonry  substitutes  the  natural  virtue  of  philanthropy  for 
that  of  Christian  charity.  Consequently,  it  is  opposed  to 
Christianity.  It  is  always  really,  even  if  not  positively, 
hostile  to  the  Church.  It  ignores  her  existence,  and  that 
of  revelation.  It  is  also  opposed  to  the  law  of  nature,  for 


it  substitutes  a  factitious  fraternity  for  real  brotherhood. 
Thus,  according  to  the  Freemasonic  code,  a  Freemason  is 
nearer  to  another  Freemason  than  to  his  own  wife  or 
child.  This  is  contrary  to  nature. 

What  virtue  can  we  expect  in  a  man,  or  in  a  body  of 
men,  without  religion?  Such  men  are,  indeed,  the  slaves 
of  the  most  shameful  passions.  What  virtue  can  those 
have  who  believe  that  whatever  they  desire  is  lawful ;  who 
designate  the  most  shameful  crimes  by  the  name  of  innocent 
pleasures  ?  What  virtue  can  those  have  who  know  no 
other  law  than  their  passions  j  who  believe  that  truth  and 
falsehood,  vice  and  virtue,  are  all  the  same  ?  They  may, 
indeed,  practise  some  natural  virtues,  but  these  virtues 
are,  in  general,  only  exterior.  They  are  practised  merely 
out  of  human  respect :  they  do  not  come  from  the  heart. 
But  the  seat  of  true  virtue  is  in  the  heart,  and  not  in 
the  exterior :  he  that  acts  merely  to  please  man,  and  not 
to  please  God,  has  no  real  virtue. 

What  confidence  can  be  placed  in  a  man,  or  in  a  body 
of  men,  who  have  no  religion,  and,  consequently,  no  know 
ledge  of  their  duties?  What  confidence  can  we  place  in 
men  who  never  feel  themselves  bound  by  any  obligation 
of  conscience,  who  have  no  higher  motives  to  direct  them 
than  their  self-love,  their  own  interests  ?  The  pagan 
Eoman,  though  enlightened  only  by  reason,  had  yet  virtue 
enough  to  say,  "  I  live,  not  for  myself,  but  for  the  republic ;" 
but  the  infidel's  motto  is  :  "I  live  only  for  myself;  I  care 
for  no  one  but  myself."  How  can  such  a  man  reconcile 
tl  poverty  and  wealth,"  "  labor  and  ease,"  u  sickness  and 
health,"  "  adversity  and  prosperity,"  "  rich  and  poor," 
"obedience  and  authority,"  "liberty  and  law,"  etc.,  etc.! 
All  these  are  enigmas  to  him,  or,  if  he  affects  to  under 


stand  them  at  all,  he  thinks  they  arise  from  bad  management 
or  bad  government.  He  will  be  a  tyrant  or  a  slave,  a 
glutton  or  a  miser,  a  fanatic  or  a  libertine,  a  thief  or  a 
highway  robber,  as  circumstances  may  influence  him.  Can 
we  think  that  the  common  a  fall-back'7  on  the  principle  of 
self-interest,  well  or  ill  understood,  will  ever  restrain  such 
a  one  from  doing  any  act  of  impulse  or  indulgence,  provided 
he  thinks  it  can  be  safely  done  ?  He  will  look  on  life  as 
a  game  of  address  or  force,  in  which  the  best  man  is  he 
who  carries  off  the  prize. 

He  will  look  upon  power  as  belonging,  of  right,  to  the 
strongest ;  the  weak,  or  those  who  differ  from  him  in 
opinion,  he  will  treat  with  contempt  and  cruelty,  and  wW 
think  that  they  have  no  rights  which  he  is  bound  t 
respect.  In  power,  such  a  man  will  be  arbitrary  and  cruel  5 
out  of  power,  he  will  be  faithless,  hypocritical,  and  sub 
servient.  Trust  him  with  authority,  he  will  abuse  it  j 
trust  him  with  money,  he  will  steal  it ;  trust  him  with  your 
confidence,  and  he  will  betray  it.  Such  a  man,  pagan  and 
unprincipled  as  he  is,  may,  nevertheless,  affect,  when  it 
suits  his  purpose,  great  religious  zeal  and  purity.  He  will 
talk  of  philanthropy  and  the  humanities,  have  great  com 
passion,  perhaps,  fora  dray-horse,  and  give  the  cold 
shoulder  to  the  houseless  pauper  or  orphan. 

The  heart  of  such  a  man  is  cold,  insincere,  destitute  of 
every  tender  chord  for  a  tender  vibration,  of  every  particle 
of  right  or  just  feeling  or  principle  that  can  be  touched  j 
on  the  contrary,  it  is  roused  to  rage,  revenge,  and  false 
hood,  if  interfered  with.  How  is  such  a  heart  to  be  touched 
or  moved,  or  placed  under  such  influences  as  could  move 
it  f  Indeed,  it  would  require  a  miracle.  Nay,  even  a 
miracle  would  fail  to  make  a  salutary  impression  upon 


such  a  heart.  A  French  infidel  declared  that,  should  he 
be  told  that  the  most  remarkable  miracle  was  occurring 
close  by  his  house,  he  would  not  move  a  step  out  of  his  way 
to  see  it.  Pride  never  surrenders  5  it  prefers  rather  to 
take  an  illogical  position,  than  to  bow  even  to  the  authority 
of  reason.  Furious,  beside  itself,  and  absurd,  it  revolts 
against  evidence.  To  all  reasoning,  to  undeniable  evi 
dence,  the  infidel, — the  man  without  religion, — opposes 
his  own  will :  "  Such  is  my  determination."  It  is  sweet  to 
him  to  be  stronger,  single-handed,  than  common-sense, 
stronger  than  miracles,  stronger  even  than  God,  who  mani 
fests  himself  by  them. 

Such  a  man  may  be  called  civilized,  but  he  is  only  an 
accomplished  barbarian.  His  head  and  hands  are  in 
structed;  his  heart,  and  low  passions,  and  appetites,  are 
unbridled  and  untamed. 

Collot  d'Herbois,  a  Freemason,  played  the  most  execra 
ble  part  during  the  French  Revolution.  Having  become 
a  representative  of  the  people  under  the  Reign  of  Terror, 
he  had  the  Lyonnese  massacred  in  hundreds.  The  very 
accomplices  of  his  crimes  regarded  him  as  a  man  so 
dangerous,  that  they  thought  it  expedient  to  exclude  him 
from  society,  by  banishing  him  to  the  deserts  of  Guiana. 
Transported  to  that  tropical  country,  he  looked  upon 
himself  as  the  most  miserable  of  men.  "  I  am  punished," 
would  he  sometimes  exclaim  :  "  the  abandonment  in  which 
I  find  myself  is  a  hell."  Being  attacked  by  a  malignant 
fever,  he  was  to  be  taken  to  Cayenne.  The  negroes, 
charged  with  this  commission,  threw  him  on  the  public 
road,  with  his  face  turned  to  the  scorching  sun.  They 
said,  in  their  own  language  :  "  We  will  not  carry  that 
murderer  of  religion  and  of  men."  "  What  is  the  matter 


with  you  ?  "  asked  the  doctor,  Guysonf,  when  he  arrived 
"I  have  a  burning  fever  and  perspiration."  "I  believe 
it:  you  are  sweating  crime."  He  called  on  God  and  the 
Blessed  Virgin  to  assist  him.  A  soldier,  to  whom  he  had 
preached  irreligion,  asked  him  why  he  invoked  God  and 
the  Bles&ed  Virgin, — he  who  mocked  them  some  months 
before.  "Ah!  my  friend/'  said  he,  "my  mouth  then 
belied  my  heart."  He  then  cried  out :  "  0  my  God,  my 
God  !  can  I  yet  hope  for  pardon  ?  Send  me  a  consoler,  send 
me  a  priest,  to  turn  mine  eyes  away  from  the  furnace  that 
consumes  me.  My  God,  give  me  peace  !  "  The  spectacle 
of  his  last  moments  was  so  frightful,  that  no  one  could 
remain  near  him.  Whilst  they  were  seeking  a  priest  he 
expired,  on  the  7th  of  June,  1796,  his  eyes  half  open, 
his  hands  clenched,  his  mouth  full  of  blood  and  froth.  His 
burial  was  so  neglected,  that  the  negro  gravediggers  only 
half  covered  him,  and  his  body  became  the  food  for  swine 
and  birds  of  prey.  (Debussi,  Nouveau  Mois  de  Marie,  251.) 
Almost  every  word  of  the  Masonic  sect  is  a  sophistical, 
double-tongued  falsehood.  The  words  of  Holy  Scripture 
apply  to  them  :  "  Wo  to  them  that  are  of  a  double  heart, 
and  to  the  wicked  lips  and  to  the  hands  that  do  evil,  and 
to  the  sinner  that  goeth  on  the  earth  two  ways.  "  (Ecclus. 
ii,  14.)  "  The  words  of  their  mouth  are  iniquity  and  guile." 
(Ps.  xxxv,  4.)  "  Wo  to  the  sinful  nation,  a  people  laden 
with  iniquity,  a  wicked  seed :  they  have  forsaken  the 
Lord.  .  .  .  They  increase  transgression.  The  whole  head 
is  sick.  From  the  sole  of  the  foot  unto  the  top  of  the 
head,  there  is  no  soundness  therein."  (Isa.  i,  4-6.)  The 
real  secret  and  true  business  of  the  Order  is  never  discussed 
in  the  r.egular  lodges,  but  in  the  private  club-room,  from 
which  even  the  kings  and  princes  who  are  said  to  be 


members  and  protectors  of  Freemasonry,  are  excluded : 
only  the  confidential  and  trustworthy  brethren  are  ad 
mitted,  and  of  what  is  discussed  here,  nothing  is  written. 
Those  kings  and  princes  receive,  indeed,  high-sounding 
titles,  and  whenever  they  visit  the  lodges,  they  hear  only 
what  pleases  and  flatters  them. 

The  secret  writings  of  Freemasonry  speak  with  the 
utmost  contempt  and  sarcasm  of  these  "  titles  and  honors." 
"  The  Fundamental  Constitution  of  Freemasonry,"  p.  300, 
says :  u  If  men  of  high  rank  wish  to  enter  the  society,  they 
must  be  received  with  the  utmost  respect,  for  such  persons 
often  become  good  builders,  who  will  not  use  strangers 
when  they  can  have  true  Masons.  They  also  make  the  best 
officials  of  the  lodge,  and  the  lodges  may  choose  one  of  them 
as  Noble  Grand  Master.  These  brethren  are  likewise 
subject  to  the  rules  and  obligations,  except  such  as  belong 
immediately  to  the  working  Masons"  The  meaning  of 
these  words  is  plain  enough.  The  Carbonari  and  the 
Illuminati  also  made  use  of  nobles  and  princes  to  be  their 
protectors  and  their  tools. 

The  Freemasons  say  that  they  are  strictly  loyal,  and 
obey  the  laws  of  the  State.  This,  again,  is  false.  All  power 
is  from  God.  Now  God  has  established  in  the  world  only 
two  societies,  which  are  independent  and  supreme, — the 
civil  and  the  ecclesiastical  ;  in  other  words,  the  Church 
and  the  State.  We  say  that  these  two  societies  are  inde 
pendent  and  supreme  in  their  separate  spheres,  the  natural, 
of  course,  being  subservient  to  the  supernatural ;  therefore 
all  other  societies  that  claim  for  themselves  an  independent 
existence — which  are  not  subject,  directly  or  indirectly, 
to  either  of  these  powers  established  by  God,  or  which 
deny  their  authority  or  evade  their  control,  must  be?  in 

30         THE  THIRD  ENEMY  OF  THE  CHURCH : 

their  nature,  anomalous,  unnatural,  opposed  to  the  order  of 
God's  providence,  unauthorized,  and  wrong.  All  societies 
existing  independently  of  the  Church  and  the  State,  the 
workings  of  which  are  not  subject  to  the  supervision  and 
control  of  the  Church  or  the  State,  are  secret  societies, 
and  are  condemned  by  the  Catholic  Church. 

The  wisdom  of  the  Church  is  easily  seen  in  this  de 
cision,  which,  at  first  sight,  may  appear  harsh.  For,  in 
the  bosom  of  civil  society,  it  cannot  be  good  to  have  bodies 
regularly  and  independently  organized,  and  exercising 
legislative,  judicial,  coercive,  and  executive  power  over 
themselves  and  others.  Such  bodies  are  supreme  and 
independent  societies,  not  in  connection  with,  or  in  sub 
ordination,  but  in  opposition,  to  both  the  authority  of  the 
State  in  the  natural,  and  the  authority  of  the  Church  in 
the  supernatural,  order. 

It  is  easy  to  see  from  this  hovr  monstrous  is  the  assump 
tion  of  these  societies,  and  how  dangerous  they  may  become 
to  the  State,  and  to  society  in  general.  In  their  origin, 
means,  and  end,  they  are  opposed  to  the  two  great  author 
ities  constituted  by  God.  The  very  fact  of  their  inde 
pendence  proves  this  opposition,  for,  were  they  not  opposed, 
they  would  be  subservient. 

In  Prussia,  the  Masons  have  a  secret  priesthood,  in  direct 
violation  of  the  Prussian  laws.  In  Saxony,  the  laws  forbid 
the  existence  of  any  political  society  or  assembly,  except 
under  the  surveillance  of  the  police,  as  also  any  connection 
with  foreign  political  societies.  To  escape  the  law, 
Freemasons  pretend  that  their  order  meddles  neither  in 
religion  nor  in  politics,  and  yet  it  has  brought  about  the 
so-called  "Reformation,"  and  the  fall  of  Napoleon,  and 
other  m6narchs,  in  our  own  time.  They  receive  monarchs 


and  princes  as  the  instruments  of  their  diabolical  purpose. 
Hence  Leo  XII  says:  "  Those  sects  must  be  repressed. 
For  the  cause  of  religion  is,  especially  in  these  times,  so 
bound  up  with  the  stability  of  society,  that  in  no  way 
can  the  one  be  sundered  from  the  other.  For  all  that 
belong  to  those  secret  societies,  dearly  beloved  Catholic 
princes  and  sons  in  Jesus  Christ,  are  the  enemies,  not 
less  of  your  authority,  than  of  religion  also.  They  are 
making  an  attack  upon  both ;  they  are  plotting  to  over 
turn  both  from  their  foundations,  and,  if  they  prove  able, 
they  will,  for  a  certainty,  not  permit  either  any  religion  or 
any  royal  power  to  exist.  So  great  is  the  cunning  and 
astuteness  of  these  men,  that,  when  they  appear  most  bent 
on  extending  your  power,  then  they  are  most  busy  in 
contriving  its  total  overthrow.  They  give  you  very 
many  reasons  to  persuade  those  who  have  in  their  hands 
the  administration  of  affairs,  that  our  power  and  that  of 
the  bishops  should  be  curtailed  and  weakened  j  and  that 
many  of  the  rights  which  belong  to  this  See,  and  those 
which  belong  to  the  bishops  who  participate  in  our  cares, 
should  be  transferred  to  those  secular  rulers.  This  they 
do,  not  only  from  that  most  bitter  hatred  which  they  bear 
to  all  religion,  but  also  from  a  cunning  scheme,  hoping 
that  the  peoples  who  are  subject  to  your  authority,  when 
they  see  those  restraints  abolished,  which  were  imposed 
by  Christ  and  by  the  Church  which  he  established,  will 
be  the  more  easily  induced,  with  such  an  example  before 
their  eyes,  to  change,  or  even  destroy,  the  form  of  political 
government."  (Quo  Gravior,  March  13,  1826.) 

The  Freemasons,  in  any  one  country,  also  say  that  they 
have  no  connection  with  the  Freemasons  of  other  lands. 
This  assertion  is  another  lie. 

32  THE    THIRD    ENEMY   OF   THE    CHURCH  : 

The  unity  of  Freemasonry  all  over  the  world  is  a 
notorious  fact,  which  is  everywhere  the  great  boast  of  Free 
masonry.  "  The  Grand  Lodge  of  Saxony  is  (1859)  only  a 
provincial  lodge  of  Germany,  and  is  subject '  to  the 
Grand  Master  of  Germany,  who  resides  at  Berlin.  The 
Masonic  lodge  of  Saxony  has  its  representatives  in  the 
Berlin  lodge,  and  corresponds  with  nearly  all  the  grand 
lodges  of  Europe  and  America"  (Eckert,  28),  and  even 
has  lately  (1859)  placed  itself  under  the  protection  of  the 
Prince  Regent  of  Prussia  ! 

This  same  loyalty  of  Freemasonry  is  shown  every 
where.  On  the  14th  of  January,  1739,  Freemasonry 
was  excommunicated  by  a  Papal  Bull,  and  in  Austria 
and  Bavaria  the  order  was  suppressed.  The  members, 
however,  submitted  neither  to  the  decrees  of  the  Church, 
nor  to  those  of  the  State.  u  The  History  of  Freemasonry,'7 
by  Lawrie,  published  by  the  order  and  authority  of  the 
Grand  Lodge  of  Scotland,  says  : 

11  Several  respectable  Masons  in  Germany,  though 
staunch  friends  of  the  Romish  Church,  were  highly 
displeased  at  this  condemnation  of  the  order,  and  resolved 
to  save  it  from  entire  destruction.  They  therefore  founded 
a  society  having  the  same  object  and  the  same  principles 
as  Freemasonry.  The  members  were  called  Mopse  (young 
bulldogs),  as  they  regarded  the  bulldog  as  an  emblem  of 
fidelity  and  brotherly  love."  * 

To  hide,  however,  the  mysteries  of  Freemasonry  from 
those  of  the  new  society  who  were  not  Masons,  they 
left  out  of  their  ritual  all  words,  signs,  and  ceremonies 

*  In  reality,  by  the  bulldog,  these  blasphemous  men  wished  to  repre 
sent  our  Holy  Father,  the  Pope  ;  and  in  mockery  of  the  pope,  they  used 
to  perform  a  ceremony  too  filthy  to  be  here  described. 


of  Freemasonry.  Moreover,  to  avoid  the  persecution  of 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  they  modified  all  those  parts 
of  the  institute  which  might  scandalize  the  narrow-minded 
and  superstitious.  The  members,  therefore,  instead  of 
taking  an  oath,  bound  themselves,  by  their  word  of  honor, 
that  they  would  never  divulge  anything  of  the  mysteries 
and  ceremonies  of  the  order. 

Women  were  also  admitted,  and  were  permitted  to  fill 
every  office,  except  that  of  Grand  Master.  The  society 
was  protected  by  some  of  the  most  respectable  men  in 
Germany.  The  most  prominent  state  officials,  and  even 
royal  princes,  were  members.  The  admission  of  Protest 
ants  or  heretics  to  the  lodges  in  Catholic  countries  gave 
great  offence  to  the  Roman  Catholics.  The  Mopse,  there 
fore,  resolved  to  initiate  no  one  into  their  mysteries  who 
was  not  a  professed  staunch  friend  of  the  Church.  "  This, 
however,  was  a  mere  blind  to  deceive  His  Holiness,  for  they 
received  into  their  order,  without  the  least  scruple,  men  of 
every  land  and  every  religion."  (Eckert,  36.) 

Freemasonry,  like  Proteus  in  the  fable,  knows  how  to 
multiply,  ad  infinitum,  its  transformations  and  its  names. 
Yesterday  it  called  itself  "  Les  Solidaires,"  or  "  Morality, 
independent  of  religion,"  or  "Freedom  of  thought ;"  to 
day  it  takes  the  title  of  an  "  Educational  League  ;"  to 
morrow  it  will  find  some  other  name  by  which  to  deceive 
the  simple. 

§  3. — Ceremonies  of  one  of  the  Degrees  of  Masonry, 

In  September,  1826,  an  awful  act  of  violence  was  com 
mitted  upon  the  person  of  Capt.  William  Morgan.  He 
was  seized  by  ruffian  hands,  taken  against  his  will,  in  the 
village  of  Batavia,  N.  Y.,  and  carried  from  thence  to  Fort 


Niagara.  The  cause  assigned  for  his  abduction  and  mur 
der  is,  that  he  was  a  Freemason,  and  as  such  had  disclosed 
the  secrets  of  Masonry.  The  persons  concerned  in  the 
acts  of  violence  were  Freemasons,  and  for  such  acts 
there  is  no  other  assignable  reason  than  that  he  had  pub 
lished  the  secrets  of  Masonry  :  the  conclusion  is,  that  for 
Buch  publication  he  has  suffered  death.* 

This  outrage  created  a  great  excitement  in  the  Union, 
especially  in  the  State  of  New  York.  It  opened  the 
eyes  of  many  honest  Freemasons,  who  left  the  order. 
Antimasonic  Conventions  of  Seceding  Freemasons  were 
held  at  Le  Roy,  and  other  places,  on  February  19th  and 
20th,  March  6th  and  7th,  July  4th  and  5th,  1828.  Ad 
dresses  were  delivered  on  the  antiquity  of  the  Masonic  in 
stitution,  showing  that  it  was  not  ancient ;  on  the  morality 
of  the  institution,  showing  that  it  did  not  promote 
morality  ;  on  the  benevolence  of  the  institution,  showimr 
that  it  was  not  benevolent ;  on  the  ceremonies  of  th^ 
institution,  showing  that  they  were  not  only  degrading  fr 
human  nature,  but  blasphemous  ;  on  the  principles  of 
the  institution,  showing  that  they  were  opposed  to  Chris 
tianity.  A  book,  u Light  on  Masonry"  (588  pages), 
was  published  by  David  Bernard,  of  Warsaw,  in  1829,  to 
inform  the  public  of  the  diabolical  workings  of  Free 
masonry.  From  this  book  I  have  taken  the  ceremonies 
of  one  of  the  degrees  of  Masonry,  the  Masonic  oath,  its 
obligations,  and  some  of  the  addresses  which  were  made 
with  the  view  of  having  the  order  banished  from  the 
United  States : — 

*  Speech  of  the  Hon.  John  Cleary,  in  the  Senate  of  the  State  of  New- 
York,  March  25,  182d 





This  council  must  be  illuminated  by  one  single  light, 
and  is  enlightened  by  one  divine  light.  Because  there  is 
one  single  light  that  shines  among  men,  who  have  the 
happiness  of  going  from  the  darkness  of  ignorance  and  of 
the  vulgar  prejudices,  to  follow  the  only  light  that  leads 
to  the  celestial  truth.  The  light  that  is  in  our  lodge  is 
composed  of  a  glass  globe  filled  with  water,  and  a  light 
placed  behind  it,  and  therefore  renders  the  light  more 
clear.  The  glass  of  reflection,  the  globe,  when  it  is  lighted, 
is  placed  in  the  South. 

Robe  and  Sceptre. — The  Grand  Master,  or  Thrice  Puis 
sant,  is  named  FATHER  ADAM,  who  is  placed  in  the  east, 
vested  in  a  robe  of  pale  yellow,  like  the  morning.  He 
has  his  hat  on,  and  in  his  right  hand  a  sceptre,  on  the  top 
of  which  is  a  globe  of  gold  ;  the  handle  or  extremity  of 
the  sceptre  is  gilt.  The  reason  that  Father  Adam  carries 
the  globe  above  the  sceptre  in  this  council  is,  because  he 
was  constituted  "  Sovereign  Master  of  the  world"  and 
created  "  Sovereign  Father  of  all  men.^  He  carries  a 
SUN,  suspended  by  a  chain  of  gold  around  his  neck,  and 
on  the  reverse  of  this  jewel  of  gold  is  a  globe.  When  this 
degree  is  given,  no  jewel  or  apron  is  worn. 

There  is  only  one  Warden,  who  sits  opposite  Father 
Adam  in  the  west,  and  is  called  Brother  Truth.  He  is  en 
titled  to  the  same  ornaments  as  Father  Adam ;  and  the 
order  that  belongs  to.  this  degree  is  a  broad  white 

36        THE  THIRD  ENEMY  OF  THE  CHURCH  : 

ribbon,  worn  as  a  collar,  with  an  eye  of  gold  embroidered 
thereon,  above  the  gold  chain  and  jewel  of  the  sun.  The 
number  of  other  officers  is  seven,  and  are  called  by  the 
name  of  the  cherubims,  as  follows ;  ZAPHRIEL,  ZABRIEL, 
These  ought  to  be  decorated  in  the  same  manner  as  the 
Thrice  Puissant  Father  Adam.  If  there  are  more  than 
that  number  of  the  Knights  of  the  Sun  they  go  by  the 
name  of  SYLPHS,  and  are  the  preparers  of  the  council,  and 
assistants  in  all  the  ceremonies  or  operations  of  the  lodge. 
They  are  entitled  to  the  same  jewel,  but  have  a  ribbon  of 
fiery  color  tied  to  the  third  buttonhole  of  their  coats. 

To  open  the  Grand  Council. — Father  Adam  says, 
lt  Brother  Truth,  what  time  is  it  on  Earth  ?  "  Brother 
Truth  :  u  Mighty  Father,  it  is  midnight  among  the  profane 
or  cowans,  but  the  sun  is  in  its  meridian  in  this  lodge." 
Father  Adam :  "  My  dear  children,  profit  by  the  favor  of 
this  austere  luminary,  at  present  showing  its  light  to  us, 
which  will  conduct  us  in  the  path  of  virtue,  and  to  follow 
that  law  which  is  eternally  to  be  engraved  on  our  hearts, 
and  the  only  law  by  which  we  cannot  fail  to  come  to  the 
knowledge  of  pure  truth"  He  then  makes  a  sign,  by 
putting  his  right  hand  on  his  left  breast,  on  which  all 
the  brethren  put  up  the  first  finger  of  the  right  hand 
above  their  heads,  the  other  fingers  clenched,  showing 
by  that  that  there  is  but  one  God,  who  is  the  beginning 
of  all  truth.  Then  Father  Adam  says,  "  This  lodge 
is  opened. " 

Form  of  Reception. — After  the  council  is  opened,  the 
candidate  is  introduced  into  an  antechamber,  where  are  a 
number  of  Sylphs,  each  with  a  bellows,  blowing  a  large 
pot  of  fire,  which  the  candidate  sees,  but  they  take  no 


notice  of  him;  after  he  is  left  in  this  situation  two  or 
three  minutes,  the  most  ancient  of  the  Sylphs  goes  to  the 
candidate,  and  covers  his  face  with  black  crape.  He 
must  be  without  a  sword,  and  is  told  that  he  must  find 
the  door  of  the  sanctuary,  and,  when  found,  to  knock  on 
it  six  times  with  an  open  hand.  After  he  finds  the  door, 
and  knocks,  Brother  Truth  goes  to  the  door,  and  having 
opened  it  a  little,  asks  the  candidate  the  following  ques 
tions,  which  he  answers  by  the  help  of  the  Sylphs : — 
Q.  "What  do  you  desire!"  A.  "I  desire  to  go  out 
of  darkness  to  see  the  true  light,  and  to  know  the  true 
light  in  all  its  purity."  Q.  "  What  do  you  desire  more  ?  " 
A.  "  To  divest  myself  of  original  sin,  and  destroy  the 
juvenile  prejudices  of  error,  which  all  men  are  liable  to, 
namely  :  the  desires  of  all  worldly  attachment  and  pride. ?) 
'On  which  Brother  Truth  comes  to  Father  Adam  and  re 
lates  what  the  candidate  has  told  him,  when  Father  Adam 
gives  orders  to  introduce  the  candidate  to  the  true  happi 
ness.  Then  Brother  Truth  opens  the  door,  and  takes 
the  candidate  by  the  hand,  and  conducts  him  to  the  mid 
dle  of  the  lodge  or  sanctuary,  which  is  also  covered  by  a 
black  cloth,  when  Father  Adam  addresses  him  thus  : 
"  My  son,  seeing  by  your  labor  in  the  royal  art  you  are 
now  come  to  the  desire  of  knowledge  of  the  pure  and  holy 
truth,  we  shall  lay  it  open  to  you  without  any  disguise 
or  covering.  But,  before  we  do  this,  consult  your  heart, 
and  see  in  this  moment  if  you  feel  yourself  disposed  to 
obey  her  (namely,  Truth)  in  all  things  which  she  com 
mands.  If  you  are  disposed,  I  am  sure  she  is  ready  in 
your  heart,  and  you  must  feel  an  emotion  that  was  un 
known  to  you  before.  This  being  the  case,  you  must 
hope  that  she  will  not  be  long  to  manifest  herself  to  you. 


/  / 

But  have  a  care  not  to  defile  the  sanctuary  by  a  spirit  of 
curiosity,  and  take  care  not  to  increase  the  number  of 
the  vulgar  and  profane,  that  have  for  so  long  a  time  ill- 
treated  her,  until  Truth  was  obliged  to  depart  the  earth, 
and  now  can  hardly  trace  any  of  her  footsteps.  But  she 
always  appears  in  her  greatest  glory,  without  disguise,  to 
the  true,  good  and  honest  Freemasons ;  that  is  to  say,  to 
the  zealous  extirpators  of  superstition  and  lies."  [By 
a  careful  perusal  of  this  degree  it  will  be  seen  that  by 
"  superstition  and  lies"  is  meant  the  true  religion, — Ed.~\ 
"I  hope,  my  dear  brother,  you  will  be  one  of  her  intimate 
favorites.  The  proofs  that  you  have  given  assure  me  of 
everything  I  have  to  expect  of  your  zeal,  for,  as  nothing 
now  can  be  more  a  secret  among  us,  I  shall  order  Brother 
Truth  that  he  will  instruct  you  what  you  are  to  do,  in 
order  to  come  to  true  happiness."  After  this  discourse  of 
Father  Adam,  the  candidate  is  unveiled,  and  shown  the 
form  of  the  lodge  or  council,  without  explaining  any  part 
thereof.  Brother  Truth  then  proceeds  thus  :  "  My  dear 
brother,  by  mouth,  holy  Truth  speaketh  to  you ;  but, 
before. she  can  manifest  herself  to  you,  she  requires  of 
you  proofs  in  which  she  is  satisfied  in  your  entrance  in 
the  Masonic  Order.  She  has  appeared  to  you  in  many 
things,  which  you  could  not  have  apprehended  or  compre 
hended  without  her  assistance ;  but  now  you  have  the 
happiness  to  arrive  at  the  brilliant  day,  nothing  can  be 
a  secret  to  you.  Learn,  then,  the  moral  use  that  is 
made  of  the  three  first  parts  of  the  furniture,  which  you 
knew  after  you  were  received  an  Entered  Apprentice 
Mason,  viz. :  Bible,  Compass,  and  Square.  By  the 
Bible,  you  are  to  understand  that  it  is  the  only  law  you 
ought  to  follow.  It  is  that  which  Adam  received  at  his 


creation,  and  which  the  Almighty  engraved  in  his 
heart.  This  law  is  called  natural  law,  and  shows  posi 
tively  that  there  is  but  one  G-od,  and  to  adore  only  him 
without  any  subdivision  or  interpolation.  The  Compass 
gives  you  the  faculty  of  judging  for  yourself,  that  what 
ever  God  has  created  is  well,  and  he  is  the  sovereign 
author  of  everything.  Existing  in  himself,  nothing  is 
either  good  or  evil,  because  we  understand,  by  this  ex 
pression,  an  action  done  which  is  excellent  in  itself,  is 
relative,  and  submits  to  the  human  understanding,  judg 
ment  to  know  the  value  and  price  of  such  action,  and 
that  God,  with  whom  everything  is  possible,  communi 
cates  nothing  of  his  will  but  such  as  his  great  goodness 
pleases  5  and  everything  in  the  universe  is  governed  as 
he  has  decreed  it  with  justice,  being  able  to  compare  it 
with  the  attributes  of  the  Divinity.  I  equally  say,  that  in 
himself  there  is  no  evil,  because  he  has  made  every  thing 
with  exactness,  and  that  everything  exists  according  to 
his  will;  consequently,  as  it  ought  to  be.  The  distance 
between  good  and  evil,  with  the  Divinity,  cannot  be 
more  justly  and  clearly  compared  than  by  a  circle 
formed  with  a  compass  :  from  the  points  being  reunited 
there  is  formed  an  entire  circumference  ;  and  when  any 
point  in  particular  equally  approaches  or  equally  separates 
from  its  point,  it  is  only  a  faint  resemblance  of  the 
distance  between  good  and  evil,  which  we  compare  by 
the  points  of  a  compass  forming  a  circle,  ivhich  circle,  when 
completed,  is  God  ! 

"  Square. — By  the  Square  we  discover  that  God  who 
has  made  everything  equal,  in  the  same  manner  as  you  are 
not  able  to  dig  a  body  in  a  quarry  complete  or  perfect ;  thus 
the  wish  of  the  Eternal,  in  creating  the  world  by  a  liberal 


act  of  his  own,  well  foresaw  every  matter  that  could 
possibly  happen  in  consequence  thereof  5  that  is  to  say, 
that  everything-  therein  contained  at  the  same  time  of 
the  creation  was  good. 

"  Level. — You  have  also  seen  a  level,  a  plumb,  and  a 
rough  stone.  By  the  level  you  are  to  learn  to  be 
upright  and  sincere,  and  not  to  suffer  yourself  to  be  drawn 
away  by  the  multitude  of  the  blind  and  ignorant  people  / 
to  be  always  firm  and  steady,  to  sustain  the  right  of  the 
natural  law,  and  the  pure  and  real  knowledge  of  that 
truth  which  it  teacheth. 

"  Perpendicular  and  rough  stone. — By  these  you  ought 
to  understand  that  the  perpendicular  man,  made  polished 
~by  reason ;  and  put  censure  away  by  the  excellence  of 
our  Master. 

"  Trestle-board. — You  have  seen  the  trestle-board,  to 
draw  plans  on.  This  represents  the  man  whose  whole 
occupation  is  the  art  of  thinking,  and  employs  his  reason 
to  that  which  is  just  and  reasonable. 

"  Cubic-stone. — You  have  seen  the  cubic-stone,  the  moral 
of  which,  and  the  sense  you  ought  to  draw  from  it,  is 
to  rule  your  actions  that  they  might  be  equally  brought 
to  the  sovereign  good. 

"  Pillars. — The  two  pillars  teacheth  you  that  all  Masons 
ought  to  attach  themselves  firmly  to  become  an  ornament 
to  the  order,  as  well  as  to  its  support — as  the  pillars  of 
Hercules  formerly  determined  the  end  of  the  ancient 

li  Bid&ing  star. — You  have  seen  the  blazing  star,  the 
moral  sense  of  which  is,  a  true  Mason  perfecting  himself  in 
the  way  of  truth,  that  he  may  become  like  a  blazing 
star;  which  shineth  equally  during  the  thickest  darkness, 


and  it  is  useful  to  those  that  it  shineth  upon,  and  who  are 
ready  and  desirous  of  profiting  by  its  light. 

"  The  first  instructions  have  conducted  you  to  the  know 
ledge  of  Hiram  Abiff,  and  the  inquiries  that  were  made  in 
finding  him  out.  You  have  been  informed  of  the  words, 
signs,  and  tokens  which  were  substituted  to  those  we 
feared  would  have  been  surprised,  but  of  which  they 
afterwards  learnt  that  the  treacherous  villains  had  not 
been  able  to  receive  any  knowledge  of;  and  this  ought  to 
be  an  example  and  salutary  advice  to  you,  to  be  always 
on  your  guard,  and  well  persuaded  that  it  is  difficult  to 
escape  the  snares  that  ignorance,  joined  to  conceited 
opinion,  lays  every  day  against  us,  and  thereby  to  over 
come  us  ;  and  the  most  virtuous  men  are  liable  to  fall, 
because  their  candor  renders  them  unsuspecting ;  but, 
in  this  case,  you  ought  to  be  firm,  as  our  Respectable 
Father  Hiram,  who  chose  rather  to  be  massacred  than  to 
give  up  what  he  had  obtained. 

"  This  will  teach  you  that,  as  soon  as  truth  shall  be  fixed 
in  your  heart,  you  ought  never  to  consider  the  resolu 
tion  you  should  take,  you  must  live  and  die  to  sustain 
tlie  light,  by  which  we  acquire  the  sovereign  good  j  we 
must  never  expose  ourselves  to  the  conversation  of 
cowans,  and  must  be  circumspect,  even  with  those  with 
whom  we  are  the  most  intimate,  and  not  to  deliver  up 
ourselves  to  any,  excepting  those  whose  character  and 
behavior  have  proved  them  brothers,  who  are  worthy  to 
come  and  appear  in  the  sacred  sanctuary,  where  holy 
Truth  delivers  her  oracles. 

"  You  have  passed  the  Secret  and  Perfect  Master;  you 
have  been  decorated  with  an  ivory  key,  a  symbol  of 
your  distinction ;  you  have  received  the  pronunciation. 


of  the  ineffable  name  of  the  Great  Architect  of  the  uni 
verse,  and  have  been  placed  at  the  first  balustrade  of  the 
sanctuary  ;  you  have  had  rank  among  the  Levites,  after 
you  knew  the  word  Zizon,  which  signifies  a  '  balus 
trade  of  the  Levites/  where  all  those  are  placed  as  well 
as  yourself,  to  expect  the  knowledge  of  the  most  sublime 

"  Coffin  and  Rope. — In  the  degree  of  Perfect  Master, 
they  have  shown  you  a  grave,  a  coffin,  and  a  withe- 
rope,  to  raise  and  deposit  the  body  in  a  sepulchre,  made 
in  the  form  of  a  pyramid,  in  the  top  of  which  was  a 
triangle,  within  which  was  the  sacred  name  of  the 
ETERNAL,  and  on  the  pavement  were  the  two  columns 
of  Jachin  and  Boaz,  laid  across. 

"  Ivory  Key. — By  the  ivory  key  you  are  to  under 
stand  that  you  cannot  open  your  heart  with  safety,  but  at 
proper  times.  By  the  corpse  and  grave  is  represented  the 
state  of  man,  before  he  had  known  the  happiness  of  our 
Order  ! 

"  Rope. — The  rope  to  which  the  coffin  is  tied,  in  order 
to  raise  it,  is  the  symbol  of  raising  a  unit,  as  you  have 
been  raised  from  the  grave  of  ignorance  to  the  celestial 
place  where  Truth  resides. 

"Pyramid. — The  pyramid  represents  the  true  Mason, 
who  raises  himself  by  degrees,  till  he  reaches  heaven,  to  adore 
the  sacred  and  unalterable  name  of  the  Eternal  Supreme. 

"  INTIMATE  SECRETARY. — This  new  degree  leads  you 
near  to  Solomon  and  honor,  and  after  you  redoubled  your 
zeal,  you  gained  new  honors  and  favors,  having  nearly 
lost  your  life  by  curiosity ;  which  attachment  to  Masonry 
gave  you  the  good  qualities  of  your  heart,  and  which  found 
you  grace,  and  led  you  to  the  l  Intendant  of  the  Build- 


ings,'  and  where  you  saw  a  blazing  star,  a  large  candle 
stick,  with  seven  branches,  with  altars,  vases,  and  purifi 
cation,  and  a  great  brazen  sea. 

"  Blazing  Star. — By  the  expression  of  purification, 
you  are  to  understand  that  you  are  to  be  cleansed  from 
impiety  and  prejudice,  before  you  can  acquire  more  of 
the  sublime  knowledge  in  passing  the  other  degree,  to  be 
able  to  support  the  brilliant  light  of  reason,  enlightened 
by  truth,  of  which  the  blazing  star  is  the  figure. 

"  Candlestick  and  Seven  Brandies. — By  the  candlestick 
with  seven  branches,  you  are  to  remember  the  mys 
terious  number  of  the  seven  Masters  who  were  named  to 
succeed  one ;  and  from  that  time  it  was  resolved  that 
seven  Knights  of  Masonry,  united  together,  were  able  to 
initiate  into  Masonry,  and  show  them  the  seven  gifts  of  the 
Eternal,  which  we  shall  give  you  a  perfect  knowledge  of, 
when  you  have  been  purified  in  the  brazen  sea. 

"Brazen  Sea. — You  have  passed  from  the  f Secret' 
and  l  Perfect  Master '  to  the  '  Intimate  Secretary/ 
1  Provost  and  Judge/  and  'Intendant  of  the  Buildings.' 
In  these  degrees  they  have  showed  you  an  ebony  box, 
a  key  suspended,  a  balance,  and  an  inflamed  urn. 

"Ebony  Box. — The  ebony  box  shows  you  with  what 
scrupulous  attention  you  are  to  keep  the  secrets  that  have 
been  confided  to  you,  and  which  you  are  to  reserve  in 
the  closet  of  your  heart,  of  which  the  box  is  an  emblem. 
And  were  you  to  reflect  on  the  black  color  of  said  box, 
it  would  teach  you  to  cover  your  secrets  with  a  thick 
veil,  in  such  a  manner  that  the  profane  cowans  cannot 
possibly  have  any  knowledge  thereof. 

"Key. — The  key  demonstrates  that  you  have  already 
obtained  a  key  to  our  knowledge,  and  part  of  our  mys- 


teries  ;  and  if  you  behave  with  equity,  fervor,  and  zeal,  tc 
your  brothers,  you  will  arrive  shortly  to  the  knowledge  and 
meaning  of  our  society ,  and  this  indicates  the  reason  of 
the  balance. 

"  Inflamed  Urn. — By  the  inflamed  urn  you  are  to  under- 
derstand  that,  as  far  as  you  come  to  the  knowledge  of  the 
royal  and^  sublime  art,  you  must,  by  your  behavior, 
leave  behind  you,  in  the  minds  of  your  brethren  and  the 
vulgar,  a  high  idea  of  your  virtue,  equal  to  the  perfume 
of  the  burning  urn. 

"  Two  Kings. — In  the  degree  of  Intimate  Secretary, 
you  have  seen  and  heard  two  kings,  who  were  entering 
into  their  new  alliance  and  reciprocal  promise,  and  of  the 
perfection  of  their  grand  enterprise.  They  spoke  of  the 
death  of  Hiram  Abiif,  our  Excellent  Master.  You  saw 
guards  and  man's  overseer,  and  very  near  of  being  put 
to  death  for  his  curiosity  of  peeping.  You  also  heard 
of  the  prospect  of  a  plan  called  the  vault,  to  deposit  the 
precious  treasure  of  Masonry,  when  the  time  should  be 
fulfilled,  and  you  afterwards  became  a  brother.  The  con 
versation  of  the  two  kings  is  the  figure  and  report  that 
our  laws  must  hold  with  the  natural  law,  which  forms  a 
perfect  agreement  with  the  conveniences,  and  promises 
to  those  who  shall  have  the  happiness  to  be  connected  to 
you  in  the  same  manner  and  perfect  alliance,  they  will 
afterwards  come  to  the  centre  of  true  knowledge. 

"  Tears. — The  tears  and  regret  of  the  two  kings  are  the 
emblem  of  the  regret  you  ought  to  have,  when  you  per 
ceive  a  brother  depart  from  the  road  of  virtue. 

"  The  Man  Peeping. — By  the  man  you  saw  peeping,  arid 
who  was  discovered,  and  seized,  and  conducted  to  death, 
is  an  emblem  of  those  who  come  to  be  initiated  into  our 


sacred  mysteries  through  a  motive  of  curiosity  ;  and,  if  so 
indiscreet  as  to  divulge  their  obligations,  WE  ARE  BOUND  TO 


pray  the  Eternal  to  preserve  our  order  from  such  an  evil 
you  have  hereof  seen  an  example  in  that  degree  to  which 
you  came,  by  your  zeal,  fervor,  and  constancy.  In  that 
degree  you  have  remarked  that,  from  all  the  favorites  that 
were  at  that  time  in  the  apartment  of  Solomon,  only  nine 
were  elected  to  avenge  the  death  of  Hiram  Abiff;  this 
makes  good  that  a  great  many  are  often  called,  but  few 
chosen.  To  explain  this  enigma : — a  great  many  of  the 
profane  have  the  happiness  to  divest  themselves  of  that 
name,  to  see  and  obtain  the  entrance  in  our  sanctuary, 
but  very  few  are  constant,  zealous,  and  fervent  to  merit 
the  happiness  of  coming  to  the  height  and  knowledge  of 
the  sublime  truth. 

"Requisitions  to  make  a  good  Mason. — If  you  ask  me  what 
are  the  requisite  qualities  that  a  Mason  must  be  possessed 
of,  to  come  to  the  centre  of  truth,  I  answer  you  that  you 
must  crush  the  head  of  the  serpent  of  ignorance.  You 
must  shake  off  tlie  yoke  of  infant  prejudice,  concerning  the 
mysteries  of  the  reigning  religion,  which  worship  has  been 
imaginary,  and  only  founded  on  the  spirit  of  pride,  ivhich 
envies  to  command  and  be  distinguished,  and  to  be  at  the 
head  of  the  vulgar,  in  affecting  an  exterior  purity,  which 
characterizes  a  false  piety,  joined  to  a  desire  of  acquiring 

*  Since  the  immolation  of  William  Morgan,  and  the  publication  of  his 
"Illustrations,"  Masons  have  boastingly  said,  "If  the  penalty  of  our  laws 
is  death,  no  one  is  bound  to  ii.fltct  it."  But  Masonry  says,  "We  are  bound 
to  take  vengeance  on  the  treason,  by  the  destruction  of  the  traitor;"  "We  are 
bound  to  cause  his  death  !  " 


that  which  is  not  its  own,  and  is  always  the  subject  of  this 
exterior  pride,  and  unalterable  source  of  many  disorders, 
which,  being  joined  to  gluttonness,  is  the  daughter  ,of  hypo 
crisy,  and  employs  every  matter  to  satisfy  carnal  desires,  and 
raises  to  these  predominant  passions  altars,  upon  which  she 
maintains,  without  ceasing,  the  light  of  iniquity,  and 
sacrifices  continually  offerings  to  luxury,  voluptuousness, 
hatred,  envy,  and  perjury.  Sehold,  my  dear  brother,  what 
you  miest  fight  against  and  destroy,  before  you  can  come  to 
the  knowledge  of  the  true  good  and  sovereign  happiness  ! 
Sehold  this  monster  ivhich  you  must  conquer — a  serpent 
which  WE  detest  as  an  idol  that  is  adored  by  the  idiot 
and  vulgar,  under  the  name  of  RELIGION  ! ! ! ?'  [Here, 
indeed,  the  principles  of  Masonry  are  taught  with  all 
plainness;  and  if  the  reader  has  heretofore  been  blind 
to  the  nature  and  tendency  of  the  institution,  methinks 
he  can  see  them  now !  Here  the  Christian  beholds  his 
blessed  Christ  rejected — himself  charged  with  the  basest 
crimes — condemned  as  an  idiot — his  worship  imaginary 
— his  religion  founded  on  the  spirit  of  pride,  the  daughter 
of  hypocrisy — a  serpent,  a  monster,  an  idol  detested  by 
Masonry ! — Editor."] 

u  Solomon,  King  Hiram,  and  St.  John  the  Baptist. — In 
the  degrees  of  '  Elected  of  Fifteen,  Illustrious  Knights? 
Grand  Master  Architects,  and  the  Royal  Arch/  *  you  have 
seen  many  things  which  are  6nly  a  repetition  of  what  you 
have  already  examined.  You  will  always  find  in  those 
degrees  initial  letters,  enclosed  in  different  triangles,  or 
Deltas.  You  have  also  seen  the  planet  Mercury,  the 
chamber  called  GABAON,  or  the  THIRD  HEAVEN  ;  the 
winding  staircase — the  ark  of  alliance — the  tomb  of 
*  KuightB  of  the  Ninth  Arch. 


Hiram  Abiff,  facing  the  ark  and  the  urn — the  precious 
treasure  found  by  the  assiduous  travellers — the  three 
zealous  brethren  Masons — the  punishment  of  the  haughty 
Master  Mason,  in  being  buried  under  the  ancient  ruins  of 
Enoch — and  finally  you  have  seen  the  figures  of  Solomon, 
and  Hiram,  king  of  Tyre,  and  St.  John  the  Baptist. 

"  3  I.  I.  Jt — By  the  3  1. 1.  I.  you  know  the  three  sacred 
names  of  the  Eternal,  and  Mount  Gabaon  (Third  Heaven), 
which  you  came  to  by  seven  degrees,  which  compose 
the  winding  staircase. 

"The  seven  stars  represent  the  seven  principal  and  differ 
ent  degrees  to  which  you  must  come,  to  attain  the  height  of 
glory  represented  by  the  mount,  where  they  formerly 
sacrificed  to  the  Most  High !  When  you  arrive  to  that, 
you  are  to  subdue  yourself  in  your  passions,  in  not  doing 
anything  that  is  not  prescribed  in  our  laws. 

"  By  the  planet  Mercury,  you  are  taught  continually  to 
mistrust,  shun,  and  run  away  from  those  who,  by  a  false 
practice,  maintain  commerce  with  people  of  a  vicious  life, 
who  seem  to  despise  the  most  sacred  mysteries ;  that  is, 
to  depart  from  those  who,  by  the  vulgar  fear,  or  have 
a  bad  understanding,  and  are  ready  to  deny  the  solemn 
obligations  that  they  have  contracted  among  us.  When 
you  come  to  the  foot  of  our  arch,  you  are  to  apprehend 
that  you  come  to  the  SANCTUM  SANCTORUM.  You  are 
not  to  return,  but  rather  to  persist  in  sustaining  the  glory 
of  our  order,  and  the  truth  of  our  laws,  principles,  and 
mysteries,  in  like  manner  as  our  Respectable  Father, 
Hiram  Abiff,  who  deserved  to  have  been  buried  there  for 
his  constancy  and  fidelity.  We  have  also  another  ex 
ample  in  the  firmness  of  GALAAD,  the  son  of  SOPHONIA, 
chief  of  the  Levites,  under  Surnam,  the  High  Priest,  as 


mentioned  in  the  history  of  perfection.  Learn  in  this 
moment,  my  dear  brother,  what  you  are  to  understand  by 
the  figures  of  Solomon,  Hiram,  King  of  Tyre,  and  St. 
John  the  Baptist.  The  two  first  exert  you,  by  t'heir  zeal 
in  the  royal  art,  to  follow  the  sublime  road  of  which 
Solomon  was  the  institutor,  and  Hiram  of  Tyre,  the 
supporter, — a  title  legitimately  due  to  that  king,  who 
not  only  protected  the  order,  but  contributed  with  all  his 
might  to  the  construction  of  the  temple  (furnishing  stone 
from  Tyre,  and  the  cedars  of  Lebanus),  which  Solomon 
built  to  the  honor  of  the  Almighty. 

u  The  third,  or  Si.  John  the  Baptist,  teaches  you  to 
preach  marvellous  of  this  order,  which  is  as  much  as  to 
say,  you  are  to  make  secret  missions  among  men^  which 
you  believe  to  be  in  a  state  of  entering  the  road  of  truth, 
that  they  may  be  able  one  day  to  see  her  virtues  and  visage 

"  Hiram  Abiff  was  the  symbol  of  truth  on  earth.  Jubelum 
Akirop  was  accused  by  the  serpent  of  ignorance,  which 
to  this  day  raises  altars  in  the  hearts  of  the  profane  and 
fearful.  This  profaneness,  backened  by  a  fanatic  zeal, 
becomes  an  instrument  to  the  religious  reign,  which  struck 
the  first  stroke  in  the  heart  of  our  dear  Father,  Hiram 
Abiff;  which  is  as  much  as  to  say,  undermined  the  foun 
dation  of  the  celestial  temple  which  the  Eternal  himself 
had  ordered  to  be  raised  to  the  sublime  truth  and  his 
glory.  ^ 

"  The  first  stage  of  the  world  has  been  witness  to  what 
I  have  advanced.  The  simple,  natural  law  rendered  to 
our  first  fathers  the  most  uninterrupted  happiness  ;  they 
were  in  those  times  more  virtuous,  but  soon  as  the 
"monster  of  pride'7  started  up  in  the  air,  and  disclosed 


herself  to  those  unhappy  mortals,  she  promised  to  them 
every  seat  of  happiness,  and  seduced  them  by  her  soft  and 
bewitching  speeches,  viz.  :  that  *  they  must  render  to 
the  Eternal  Creator  of  all  things  an  adoration  with  more 
testimony  and  more  extensive  than  they  had  hitherto 
done/  etc.  This  HYDRA,  with  an  'hundred  heads,'  at 
that  time  misled,  and  continues  to  this  day  to  mislead  men, 
who  are  so  weak  as  to  submit  to  her  empire  j  and  k  will 
subsist  until  the  moment  that  the  true  elected  shall  appear, 
and  destroy  her  entirely. 

"  The  degree  of '  Sublime  Elected '  that  you  have  passed, 
gives  you  the  knowledge  of  those  things  which  conducts 
you  to  the  true  and  solid  good.  The  grand 
circle  represents  the  immensity  of  the  Eternal 
Supreme,  who  has  neither  beginning  nor  end. 
The  triangle,  or  Delta,  is  the  mysterious  figure 
of  the  Eternal.  The  three  letters  which  you 
see  signify  as  follows : — G,  at  the  top  of  the 
triangle,  i  the  grand  cause  of  the  Masons;7  the 
S,  at  the  left  hand,  the  '  submission  to  the  same  order : ' 
and  the  U,  at  the  right  hand,  the  (  union  that  ought  to  reign 
among  the  brethren  ;  7  which  altogether  make  but  one  body, 
or  equal  figure,  in  all  its  parts.  This  is  the  triangle  called 
'  equilateral.'  The  great  letter  Gr,  placed  in  the  centre 
of  the  triangle,  signifies  *  Great  Architect  of  the  universe/ 
who  is  God ;  and  in  this  ineffable  name  are  found  all  the 
divine  attributes.  This  letter  being  placed  in  the  centre 
of  the  triangle,  is  for  us  to  understand  that  every  true 
Mason  must  have  it  profoundly  in  his  heart. 

"  There  is  another  triangle,  on  which  is  en 
graved  S,  B,  and  N,  of  which  you  have  had  an 
explanation  in  a  preceding  degree.  This  triangle 

'S       N 


designs  the  connection  of  the  brethren  in  virtue.  The 
solemn  promise  they  have  made  to  love  each  other,  to  help, 
to  succor,  and  keep  inviolably  secret  their  mysteries  of  the 
perfection  proposed,  in  all  their  enterprises.  It  is  said  in 
that  degree,  that  '  you  have  entered  the  Third  Heaven; ' 
that  means  you  have  entered  the  place  where  pure  truth 
resides,  since  she  abandoned  the  earth  to  monsters  who 
persecuted  her. 

"  The  end  of  the  degree  of  Perfection  is  a  preparation  to 
come  more  clearly  to  the  knowledge  of  true  happiness, 
in  becoming  a  true  Mason,  enlightened  by  the  celestial 
luminary  of  truth,  in  renouncing,  voluntarily,  all  adora 
tions  but  those  that  are  made  to  one  G-od,  the  Creator 
of  heaven  and  earth,  great,  good,  and  merciful. 

"  The  Knights  of  the  East,  the  Princes  of  Jerusalem,  and 
Knights  of  the  East  and  West,  are  known  to  us,  in  our 
days,  to  be  Masonry  renewed,  and  all  of  them  lead  us  to 
the  same  end  of  the  celestial  truth,  which  is  to  say, 
finished.  ,  * 

"  The  Knights  of  the  '  White  and  Black  Eagle/  and  the 
6  Sublime  Princes  of  the  Eoyal  Secret/  and  t  Grand 
Commander/  are  the  chiefs  of  the  great  enterprise  of  the 
order  in  general." — (End  of  Brother  Truth's  harangue.) 

Father  Adam  then  says  to  the  candidate  :  "  My  dear  son, 
what  you  have  heard  from  the  mouth  of  Truth  is  an 
abridgment  of  all  the  consequences  of  all  the  degrees 
you  have  gone  through,  in  order  to  come  to  the  know 
ledge  of  the  hbly  truth,  contracted  in  your  last  engage 
ments.  Do  you  persist  in  your  demand  of  coming  to  the 
hbly  brother,  and  is  that  what  you  desire,  with  a  clear 
heart  ? — answer  me."  The  candidate  answers,  "  I  persist.*? 
Then  Father  Adam  says :  "  Brother  Truth,  as  the  truth 


persists,  approach  with  him  to  the  sanctuary,  in  order 
that  he  may  take  a  solemn  obligation  to  follow  our  laws, 
principles,  and  morals,  and  to  attach  himself  to  us  for 
ever."  Then  the  candidate  falls  on  his  knees,  and  Father 
Adam  takes  his  hands  between  his  own,  and  the  candi 
date  repeats  the  following  obligation  three  times  : 

Obligation.     "I promise    in  the  face  of   God,  and 

between  the  hands  of  my  Sovereign,  and  in  presence 
of  all  the  brethren  now  present,  never  to  take  arms 
against  my  king,  directly  or  indirectly,  in  any  conspiracy 
against  him.  I  promise  never  to  reveal  any  of  the 
degrees  of  the  Knight  of  the  Sun,  which  is  now  on  the 
point  of  being  intrusted  to  me,  to  any  person  or  persons 
whatsoever,  without  being  duly  qualified  to  receive  the 
same ;  and  never  to  give  my  consent  to  any  one  to  be 
admitted  into  our  mysteries,  only  after  the  most  scrupulous 
circumspection,  and  full  knowledge  of  his  life  and  con 
versation  ;  and  who  has  given  at  all  times  full  proof  of  his 
zeal  and  fervent  attachment  for  the  order,  and  a  submission 
at  all  times  to  the  tribunal  of  the  Sovereign  Princes  of 
the  Royal  Secret.  I  promise  never  to  confer  the  degree 
of  the  Knights  of  the  Sun,  without  having  a  permission 
in  writing  from  the  Grand  Council  of  Princes  of  the  Royal 
Secret,  or  from  the  Grand  Inspector,  or  his  deputy,  known 
by  their  titles  and  authority.  I  promise  also,  and  swear, 
that  I  will  not  assist  any,  through  my  means,  to  form  or 
raise  a  lodge  of  the  Sublime  Orders,  in  this  island  (or  in 
America,  as  the  case  may  be),  (  without  proper  authority. 
I  promise  and  swear  to  redouble  my  zeal  for  all  my 
brethren,  Knights,  and  Princes,  that  are  present  01 
absent,  and  if  I  fail  in  this  my  obligation,  I  consent  foi 
all  my  brethren,  when  they  are  convinced  of  my  infidelity. 


to  seize  me,  and  thrust  my  tongue  through  with  a  red 
hot  iron  ;  to  pluck  out  both  my  eyes,  and  to  deprive  me 
of  smelling  and  hearing  5  to  cut  off  both  of  my  hands, 
and  expose  me  in  that  condition  in  the  field,  to  be 
devoured  by  the  voracious  animals  j  and  if  none  can  be 
found,  I  wish  -the  lightning  of  heaven  might  execute  on 
me  the  same  vengeance.  O  God!  maintain  me  in  right 
and  equity.  Amen.  Amen.  Amen." 

After  the  obligation  is  three  times  repeated,  Father 
Adam  raises  the  candidate,  and  gives  him  one  kiss  on 
his  forehead,  being  the  seat  of  the  soul.  He  then  decor 
ates  him  with  the  collar  and  jewel  of  the  order,  and 
gives  him  the  following  sign,  token,  and  word  :  *  *  *  * 

After  these  are  given,  the  candidate  goes  round,  and 
gives  them  to  every  one,  which  brings  him  back  to 
Father  Adam.  He  then  sits  down  with  the  rest  of  the 
brethren,  and  then  Brother  Truth  gives  the  following 
explanation  of  the  Philosophical  Lodge : 

Sun. — The  sun  represents  the  unity  of  the  Eternal 
Supreme,  the  only  grand  work  of  philosophy. 

3  S.  S.  S.—  The  3  S.  S.  S.  signifies  the  Stiletto,  Sidech, 
Solo,  or  the  residence  of  the  Sovereign  Master  of  all  things. 

Three  Candlesticks. — The  three  candlesticks  show  us 
the  three  degrees  of  fire. 

Four  Triangles. — The  four  triangles  represent  the 
four  elements. 

Seven  Planets. — The  seven  planets  design  the  seven 
colors  that  appear  in  their  original  state,  from  whence  we 
have  so  many  different  artificial  ones. 

Seven  Cherubims. — The  seVen  cherubims  represent  the 
seven  metals,  viz. :  gold,  silver,  copper,  iron,  lead,  tin, 
and  quicksilver. 


Conception  in  the  Moon. — The  conception,  or  woman 
rising  in  the  moon,  demonstrates  the  purity  that  matter 
subsists  of,  in  order  to  remain  in  its  pure  state,  unmixed 
with  any  other  body,  from  which  must  come  a  new 
king,  and  a  revolution  or  fulness  of  time,  filled  with  glory, 
whose  name  is  ALBRA-EST. 

Holy  Spirit. — The  Holy  Spirit,  under  the  symbol  of  a 
dove,  is  the  image  of  the  Universal  Spirit,  that  gives 
light  to  all  in  the  three  states  of  nature  5  and  on  the 
"  animal"  "  vegetable"  "  and  il  mineral" 

Entrance  of  the  Temple. — The  entrance  of  the  temple  is 
represented  to  you  by  a  body,  because  the  grand  work  of 
nature  is  complete  as  gold,  portable  and  fixed. 

Globe. — The  globe  represents  the  matter  in  the  prijenal 
state ;  that  is  to  say,  complete. 

Caduceus. — The  caduceus  represents  the  double  mercury 
that  you  must  extract  from  the  matter ;  that  is  to  say,  the 
mercury  fixed,  and  from  thence  is  extracted  gold  and 

Stibium. — The  word  stibium  signifies  the  antimony  from 
whence,  by  the  philosophical  fire,  is  taken  an  alkali  which 
we  empty  in  our  grand  work. — (End  of  the  philosophical 
explanation.)  Then  Father  Adam  explains  the 


Sun. — The  sun  represents  the  divinity  of  the  Eternal  j 
for,  as  there  is  but  one  sun  to  light  and  invigorate  the 
earth,  so  there  is  but  one  Q-od,  to  whom  we  outfit  to  pay 
our  greatest  adoration. 

3.  S.  S.  S.— The  3  S.  S.  S.  teach  you  that  science, 
adorned  with  wisdom,  creates  a  holy  man. 

Three    Candlesticks. — The    three  candlesticks   are    the 


image  of  the  life  of  man,  considered  in  youth,  manhood^ 
and  old  age,  and  happy  are  those  that  have  been  enlight 
ened  in  these  ages  by  the  light  of  truth. 

Four  Triangles. — The  four  triangles  show  us  the  four 
principal  duties  that  create  our  tranquil  life,  viz. :  'Frater 
nal  love  among  men  in  general,  and  particularly  among 
brethren,  and  in  the  same  degree  with  us.  2dly.  In  not 
having  anything  but  for  the  use  and  advantage  of  a 
brother.  3dly.  Doubting  of  every  matter  that  cannot 
be  demonstrated  to  you  clearly,  by  which  an  attempt 
might  be  insinuated  as  mysterious  in  matters  of  religion, 
and  hereby  lead  you  away  from  the  holy  truth.  4thly. 
Never  do  anything  to  another  that  you  would  not  have 
done  unto  you.  The  last  precept,  well  understood,  and  fol 
lowed  on  all  occasions,  is  the  true  happiness  of  philosophy. 

Seven  Planets. — The  seven  planets  represent  the  seven 
principal  passions  of  man. 

Seven  Clierubims. — The  seven  cherubims  are  the  images 
of  the  delights  of  the  life,  namely,  by  seeing,  hearing, 
tasting,  smelling,  feeling,  tranquillity,  and  health. 

Conception. — The  conception  in  the  moon  shows  the 
purity  of  matter,  and  that  nothing  can  be  impure  to  the 
eyes  of  the  Supreme. 

Holy  Spirit. — The  Spirit  is  the  figure  of  our  soul, 
which  is  only  the  breath  of  the  Eternal,  and  which  cannot 
be  soiled  by  the  works  of  the  body. 

Temple. — The  temple  represents  our  body,  which  we 
are  obliged  to  preserve  by  our  natural  feelings. 

Figure  of  a  Man. — The  figure  is  in  the  entrance  of  the 
temple,  which  bears  a  lamb  in  his  arms,  and  teaches  us  to 
be  attentive  to  our  wants,  as  a  shepherd  takes  care  of 
his  sheep  j  to  be  charitable,  and  never  to  let  slip  the 


present  opportunity  of  doing  good,  to  labor  honestly,  and  to 
live  in  this  day  as  if  it  were  our  last. 

Columns  of  Jachin  and  Boaz. — The  columns  of  J.  and 
B.  are  the  symbols  of  the  strength  of  our  souls,  in  bearing 
equally  misfortunes  as  well  as  success  in  life.  -  - 

Seven  Steps  of  the  Temple. — The  seven  steps  of  the 
temple  are  the  figures  of  the  seven  degrees  which  we 
must  pass  before  we  arrive  to  the  knowledge  of  the  true 

Globe. — The  globe  represents  the  world  which  we  in 

Lux  ex  Tenebrls. — The  device  of  Lux  ex  tenebris 
teacheth  that/ when  man  is  enlightened  by  reason,  he  is 
able  to  penetrate  the  darkness  and  obscurity  which  igno 
rance  and  superstition  spread  abroad. 

Miver. — The  river  across  the  globe  represents  the 
utility  of  the  passions,  that  are  as  necessary  to  man,  in 
the  course  of  his  life,  as  water  is  requisite  to  the  earth, 
in  order  to  replenish  the  plants  thereof. 

Cross  Surrounded. — The  cross  surrounded  by  two  ser 
pents  signifies  that  we  must  watch  the  vulgar  prejudices, 
to  be  very  prudent  in  giving  any  of  our  knowledge  and 
secrets  in  matters,  especially  in  religion. — (End  of  the 
moral  explanation.) 



Q.  Are  you  a  Knight  of  the  Sun  ?  A.  I  have  mounted 
the  seven  principal  steps  of  Masonry  j  I  have  penetrated 
into  the  bowels  of  the  earth,  and  among  the  dncient  ruins 
of  Enoch,  found  the  most  grand  and  precious  treasure  of 
the  Masons.  I  have  seen,  contemplated,  and  admired 


the  great,  mysterious,  and  formidable  name,  engraved  on 
the  triangle ;  I  have  broken  the  pillar  of  beauty,  and 
thrown  down  the  two  columns  that  supported  it.  Q.  Pray 
tell  me  what  is  that  mysterious  and  formidable  name  ?  A. 
I  cannot  unfold  the  sacred  characters  in  this  manner,  but 
substitute  in  its  place  the  grand  word  of  nirP«  Q-  What 
do  you  understand  by  throwing  down  the  columns  that 
sustained  the  pillar  of  beauty?  A.  Two  reasons: — 1st. 
When  the  temple  was  destroyed  by  Nabuzaradan,  general 
of  the  army  of  Nebuchadnezzar,  I  was  one  that  helped 
to  defend  the  Delta,  on  which  was  engraved  the  ineffable 
name ;  and  I  broke  down  the  columns  of  beauty,  in  order 
that  it  should  not  be  profaned  by  the  infidels.  2d.  As 
I  have  deserved,  by  my  travel  and  labor,  the  beauty  of 
the  great  "  ADONAI"  (Lord),  the  mysteries  of  Masonry,  in 
passing  the  seven  principal  degrees.  Q.  What  signifies 
the  seven  planets  ?  A.  The  lights  of  the  celestial  globe, 
and  also  their  influence,  by  which  every  matter  exists  on 
the  surface  of  the  earth  or  globe.  Q.  From  what  is  the 
terrestrial  globe  formed  ?  A.  From  the  matter  which  is 
formed  by  the  concord  of  the  four  elements,  designed  by 
the  four  triangles,  that  are  in  regard  to  them,  as  the 
four  greater  planets.  Q.  What  are  the  names  of  the 
seven  planets  ?  A.  Sun,  Moon,  Mars,  Jupiter,  Venus, 
Mercury,  and  Saturn.  Q.  Which  are  the  four  elements  ? 
A.  Air,  fire,  earth,  and  water.  Q.  What  influence  have 
the  seven  planets  on  the  four  elements  ?  A.  Three  gen 
eral  matters,  of  which  all  bodies  are  composed :  life, 
spirit,  and  body,  otherwise,  salt,  sulphur,  and  mercury. 
Q.  What  is  life,  or  salt  ?  A.  The  life  given  by  the  Eternal 
Supreme,  or  the  planets,  the  agents  of  nature.  Q.  What 
is  the  spirit,  or  sulphur  ?  A.  A  fired  matter,  subject  to 


several  productions.  Q.  What  is  the  body,  or  mercury  ? 
A.  Matter  conducted  or  refined  to  its  form  by  the  union 
of  salt  and  sulphur,  or  the  agreement  of  the  three 
governors  of  nature.  Q.  What  are  those  three  governors 
of  nature  ?  A.  Animal,  vegetable,  and  mineral.  Q. 
What  is  animal?  A.  We  understand,  in  this  life,  all  that 
is  divine  and  amiable.  Q.  Which  of  the  elements  serve 
for  his  productions?  A.  All  the  four  are  necessary, 
among  which,  nevertheless,  air  and  fire  are  predominant, 
and  it  is  those  that  render  the  animal  the  perfection  of 
the  three  governments,  which  man  is  elevated  to  by 
one-fourth  of  the  breath  of  the  Divine  Spirit,  when  he 
receives  his  soul.  Q.  What  is  the  vegetable  ?  A.  All 
that  seems  attached  to  the  earth  reigns  on  the  surface. 
Q.  Of  what  is  it  composed?  A.  Of  a  generative  firer 
formed  into  a  body,  whilst  it  remains  in  the  earth,  and  i& 
purified  by  its  moisture,  and  becomes  vegetable,  and 
receives  life  by  air  and  water  •  whereby  the  four  elements, 
though  different,  cooperate  jointly  and  separately.  Q. 
What  is  the  mineral  ?  A.  All  that  is  generated  and 
secreted  in  the  earth.  Q.  What  do  we  understand  by  this 
name  ?  A.  That  which  we  call  metals,  and  demi-metals, 
and  minerals.  Q.  What  is  it  that  composes  the  minerals  ? 
A.  The  air  penetrating,  by  the  celestial  influence,  into 
the  earth,  meets  with  a  body  which  by  its  softness  fixes, 
congeals,  and  renders  the  mineral  matter  more  or  less  per 
fect.  Q.  Which  are  the  perfect  metals  ?  A.  Gold 
and  silver.  Q.  Which  are  the  imperfect  metals  ?  A. 
Brass,  lead,  tin,  iron,  and  quicksilver.  Q.  How  come  we 
by  the  knowledge  of  these  things  ?  A.  By  frequent  obser 
vations,  and  the  experiments  made  in  natural  philosophy, 
which  have  decided  to  a  certainty  that  nature  gives  a 


perfection  to  all  things,  if  she  has  time  to  complete  her 
operations.  Q.  Can  art  bring  metal  to  perfection  so  fully 
as  nature  ?  A.  Yes  ;  but  in  order  to  this,  you  must  have 
an  exact  knowledge  of  nature.  Q.  What  will  assist  you 
to  bring  forth  this  knowledge  ?  A.  A  matter  brought  to 
perfection  ;  this  has  been  sought  for  under  the  name  of  the 
philosopher's  stone.  Q.  What  does  the  globe  represent  ? 
A.  An  information  of  philosophers,  for  the  benefit  of  the 
art  in  this  work.  Q.  What  signifies  the  words,  "Lux  ex 
tenebris  "  ?  A.  That  is  the  depth  of  darkness  you  ought 
to  retire  from,  in  order  to  gain  the  true  light.  Q.  What 
signifies  the  cross  on  the  globe  ?  A.  The  cross  is  the 
emblem  of  the  true  elected.  Q.  What  represent  the 
three  candlesticks  I  A.  The  three  degrees  of  five,  which 
the  artist  must  have  knowledge  to  give,  in  order  to 
procure  the  matters  from  which  it  proceeds.  Q.  What 
signifies  the  word  Stibium  f  A.  It  signifies  antimony, 
or  the  first  matter  of  all  things.  Q.  What  signifies  the 
seven  degrees  ?  A.  The  different  effectual  degrees  of 
Masonry  which  you  must  pass  to  come  to  the  Sublime 
Degree  of  Knights  of  the  Sun.  Q.  What  signifies  the 
diverse  attributes  in  those  degrees  ? 

A.  1st.  The  Bible,  or  God's  law,  which  we  ought  to 

2d.  The  Compass  teaches  us  to  do  nothing  unjust. 

3d.  The  Square  conducts  us  equal  to  the  same  end. 

4th.  The  Level  demonstrates  to  us  all  that  is  just  and 

5th.  The  Perpendicular,  to  be  upright  and  subdue  the 
vail  of  prejudice. 

6th.  The  Trestle-board  is  the  image  of  our  reason,  where 
the  functions  are  combined  to  effect,  compare,  and  think. 


7th.  The  Rough  Stone  is  the  resemblance  of  our  vices, 
which  we  ought  to  reform. 

8th.  The  Cubic  Stone  is  our  passion,  that  we  ought  to  sur 

9th.  The  Columns  signify  strength  in  all  things. 

10th.  The  Blazing  Star  teaches  that  our  hearts  ought 
to  be  as  a  clear  sun  among  those  that  are  troubled  with  the 
things  of  this  life. 

1 1  th.  The  Key  teaches  to  have  a  watchful  eje  over  those 
who  are  contrary  to  reason. 

12th.  The  Box  teaches  to  keep  our  secrets  inviolably. 

13th.  The  Urn  teaches  us  that  we  ought  to  be  as  delicious 

14th.  The  Brazen  Sea  that  we  ought  to  purify  ourselves, 
and  destroy  vice. 

15th.  The  Circles  on  the  Triangles  demonstrate  the 
immensity  of  the  divinity,  under  the  symbol  of  truth. 

16th.  The  Poniard  teacheth  the  step  of  the  elected, 
many  are  called,  but  few  are  chosen,  to  the  sublime 
knowledge  of  pure  truth. 

17th.  The  word  Albra-est  signifies  a  king  full  of  glory, 
and  without  blot. 

18th.  The  word  Adonai  signifies  Sovereign  Creator  of 
all  things. 

19th.  The  Seven  Clierubims  are  the  symbols  of  the 
delights  of  life,  kn,own  by  seeing,  hearing,  tasting,  feeling, 
smelling,  tranquillity,  and  thought. 

Q.  What  represents  the  sun  f  A.  It  is  an  emblem  of 
Divinity,  which  we  ought  to  regard  as  the  image  of  God, 
This  immense  body  represents  the  infinity  of  God's  won 
derful  will,  as  the  only  source  of  light  and  good.  The 
heat  of  the  sun  produces  the  rule  of  the  seasons,  recruits 


nature,  takes  darkness  from  the  winter,  in  order  that  the 
deliciousness  of  spring  might  succeed. — (End  of  the 
Physical  Lecture,) 


Q.  From  whence  came  you?  A.  From  the  centre  of  the 
earth.  Q.  How  have  you  come  from  thence  ?  A.  By 
reflection,  and  the  study  of  nature.  Q.  Who  has  taught 
you  this  ?  A;  Men  in  general  who  are  blind,  and  lead  others 
in  their  blindness.  Q.  What  do  you  understand  by  this 
blindness  ?  A.  I  do  not  understand  it  to  be  privy  to  their 
mysteries  5  but  I  understand  under  the  name  of  blindness, 
those  who  cease  to  be  ardent,  after  they  have  been  privy 
to  the  light  of  the  spirit  of  reason.  Q.  WTho  are  those  ? 
A.  Those  who,  through  the  prejudices  of  superstition  and 
fanaticism,  render  their  services  to  ignorance.  Q.  What 
do  you  understand  by  fanaticism  ?  A.  The  seal  of  all 
particular  sects,  which  are  spread  over  the  earth,  who  com 
mit  crimes,  by  making  offerings  to  fraud  and  falsehood. 
Q.  And  do  you  desire  to  rise  from  this  darkness?  A.  My 
desire  is  to  come  to  the  celestial  truth,  and  to  travel  by  the 
light  of  the  sun.  Q.  What  represents  that  body  ?  A.  It 
is  a  figure  of  an  only  God,  to  whom  we  ought  to  pay  oui 
adoration.  The  sun  being  the  emblem  of  God,  we  ought  to 
regard  it  as  the  image  of  the  Divinity,  for  that  immense  body 
represents  wonderfully  the  infinity  of  God.  He  invigorates 
and  produces  the  season,  and  replenishes  nature,  by  taking 
the  horrors  from  winter,  and  produces  the  delights  of  spring. 
Q.  What  does  the  triangle,  with  the  sun  in  the  centre, 
represent  ?  A,  It  represents  the  immensity  of  the  Supreme. 
Q.  What  signifies  the  three  S.  S.  S.  f  A.  Sanctitas,  Sci- 
entia,  and  Syrentia,  which  signify  the  science  accompanied 


with  wisdom,  which  make  men  holy.  Q.  What  signifies 
the  three  candlesticks  ?  A.  It  represents  the  courses 
of  life,  considered  in  youth,  manhood,  and  old  age.  Q. 
Has  it  any  other  meaning  ?  A.  Yes,  the  triple  light 
that  shines  among  us,  in  order  to  take  men  out  of  dark 
ness  and  ignorance  into  which  they  are  plunged,  and  to 
bring  them  to  virtue,  truth,  and  happiness,  a  symbol  of  our 
perfection.  Q.  What  signifies  the  four  triangles  that  are 
in  the  great  circles  ?  A.  They  are  the  emblems  of  the 
four  principal  views  of  the  life  of  tranquillity,  etc.  :  1st. 
Fraternal  love  to  all  mankind  in  general,  more  particu 
larly  for  our  brethren,  who  are  more  attached  to  us,  and 
who,  with  honor,  have  seen  the  wretchedness  of  the 
vulgar.  2d.  To  be  cautious  among  us  of  things,  and  not 
to  demonstrate  them  clearly  to  any  who  are  not  proper  to 
receive  them  ;  and  to  be  likewise  cautious  in  giving  credit 
to  any  matter,  however  artfully  it  may  be  disguised,  with 
out  self-conviction  in  the  heart.  3d.  To  cast  from  us  every 
matter  which  we  perceive  we  may  ever  repent  of  doing, 
taking  care  of  this  moral  precept,  "  To  do  to  every  one  of 
your  fellow-creatures  no  more  than  you  would  choose  to 
be  done  to."  4th.  We  ought  always  to  confide  in  our 
Creator's  bounty,  and  to  pray  without  ceasing  that  all  our 
necessities  might  be  relieved,  as  it  seems  best  to  him  for 
our  advantage  5  to  wait  for  his  blessings  patiently  in  this 
life  j  to  be  persuaded  of  his  sublime  decrees,  that  what 
ever  might  fall  contrary  to  our  wishes  will  be  attended  with 
good  consequences  ;  to  take  his  chastisements  patiently, 
and  be  assured  that  the  end  of  everything  has  been  done 
by  him  for  the  best,  and  will  certainly  lead  us  to  eternal 
happiness  hereafter.  Q.  Teach  us  the  signification  of 
the  seven  planets  which  are  enclosed  in  a  triangle,  that 


forms  the  rays  of  the  exterior  circles,  and  enclosed  in  the 
grand  triangle.  A.  The  seven  planets,  according  to 
philosophy,  represent  the  seven  principal  passions  of  the 
life  of  man  j  those  passions  are  very  useful,  when  they 
are  used  in  moderation,  for  which  the  Almighty  gave  them 
to  us,  but  grow  fatal  and  destroy  the  body  when  let  loose : 
and  therefore  it  is  our  particular  duty  to  subdue  them. 
Q.  Explain  the  seven  passions  to  us  I  A.  1st.  The  propa 
gation  of  species.  2d.  Ambition  of  acquiring  riches. 
3d.  Ambition  to  acquire  glory  in  the  arts  and  sciences 
among  men  in  general.  4th.  Superiority  in  civil  life.  5th. 
Joys  and  pleasures  of  society.  6th.  Amusements  and 
gayeties  of  life.  7th.  RELIGION.  * 

Q.  Which  is  the  greatest  sin  of  all  that  man  can  commit, 
and  render  him  odious  to  God  and  man  ?  A.  Suicide 
and  Homicide.  Q.  What  signifies  the  seven  cherubims, 
whose  names  are  written  in  the  circle,  called  the  "  First 
Heaven  "  ?  A.  They  represent  the  corporeal  delights  of 
this  life,  which  the  Eternal  gave  to  man,  when  he  created 
him,  and  are,  seeing,  hearing,  smelling,  tasting,  feeling, 
tranquillity,  and  thought.  Q.  What  signifies  the  figure 
in  the  moon,  which  we  regard  as  the  figure  or  image  ot 
conception!  A.  The  purity  of  nature,  which  procures 
the  holiness  of  the  body ;  and  that  there  is  nothing  im 
perfect  in  the  eyes  of  the  Supreme.  Q.  What  signifies  the 
figure  of  the  columns?  A.  They  are  the  emblem  of  our 
souls,  which  is  the  breath  of  life,  proceeding  from  the 
All  Puissant,  which  ought  not  to  be  soiled  by  the  works  of 
the  body,  but  to  be  firm  as  columns.  Q.  What  does 
the  figure  in  the  porch,  which  carries  a  lamb  in  his 
arms,  represent  ?  A.  The  porch,  ornamented  with  the 

*Mind  this. 


columns  of  Jachin  and  Boaz,  and  surmounted  with  the 
grand  I,  represents  our  body,  over  which  we  ought  to 
have  a  particular  care,  in  watching  our  conversation, 
and  also  to  watch  our  needs,  as  the  shepherd  his  flock. 
Q.  What  signifies  the  two  letters  I  and  B,  at  the  porch? 
A.  They  signify  our  entrance  in  the  Order  of  Masonry  j 
also  the  firmness  of  the  soul,  which  we  ought  to  possess  from 
the  hour  of  our  initiation ;  these  we  ought  to  merit,  before 
we  can  come  to  the  sublime  degrees  of  knowing  holy 
truth,  and  we  ought  to  preserve  them,  and  be  firm  in 
whatever  situation  we  may  be  in,  not  knowing  whether  it 
may  return  to  our  good  or  evil  in  the  passage  of  this  life. 
Q.  What  signifies  the  large  I  in  the  triangle,  on  the 
crown  of  the  portico  ?  A.  That  large  I,  being  the 
initial  of  the  mysterious  name  of  the  Great  Architect  of 
the  Universe,  whose  greatness  we  should  always  have  irs 
our  minds,  and  that  our  labors  ought  to  be  employed  to 
please  him  ;  which  we  should  always  have  in  our  view, 
as  the  sure  and  only  source  of  our  actions.  Q.  What 
signifies  the  seven  steps  that  lead  to  the  entry  of  the 
porch  ?  A.  They  mark  the  seven  degrees  in  Masonry, 
which  are  the  principal,  which  we  ought  to  arrive  to,  in 
order  to  come  to  the  knowledge  of  holy  truth.  Q.  What 
does  the  terrestrial  globe  represent  ?  A.  The  world  which 
we  inhabit,  and  wherein  Masonry  is  its  principal  ornament. 
Q.  What  is  the  explanation  of  the  great  word,  "Adonai?" 
A.  It  is  the  word  which  God  gave  to  Adam,  for  him  to  pray 
by ;  a  word  which  our  common  father  never  pronounced 
without  trembling.  Q.  What  signifies  Lux  ex  tenebris  ? 
A.  A  man  made  clear  by  the  light  of  reason,  penetrating 
this  obscurity  of  ignorance  and  superstition.  Q.  What 
signifies  the  river  across  the  globe  ?  A.  It  represents  the 

64:  THE   THIED   ENEMY   OF   THE   CHUECH  : 

utility  of  our  passions,  which  are  necessary  to  man  in 
the  course  of  his  life,  as  water  is  necessary  to  render 
the  earth  fertile,  as  the  sun  draws  up  the  water  which, 
being  purified,  falls  on  the  earth,  and  gives  verdure. 
Q.  What  signifies  the  cross,  surrounded  by  two  serpents, 
on  the  top  of  the  globe  ?  A.  It  represents  to  us  not  to 
repeat  tlie  vulgar  prejudices;  to  be  prudent,  and  to  know  the 
bottom  of  the  heart.  In  matters  of  religion  to  be  alivays pre 
pared  ;  not  to  be  of  the  sentiments  tvith  sots,  idiots,  and  the 
lovers  of  the  mysteries  of  religion  /  to  avoid  such,  and  not 
in  the  least  to  hold  any  conversation  with  them.  Q.  What 
signifies  the  book,  with  the  word  Bible  written  in  it  ? 
A.  As  the  Bible  is  differently  interpreted  by  the  different 
sects,  who  divide  the  different  parts  of  the  earth  :  thus 
the  true  sons  of  light,  or  children  of  truth,  ought  to  doubt 
of  ev